17 April 2023
The Amilcar Cabral submarine telecom cable to connect Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, and Sierra Leone is taking shape.
The Ministers of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the Digital Economy of these six countries signed a memorandum of understanding with the ECOWAS Commission for the development of the project.
The six states concerned undertake to participate in the process of evaluating the technical, economic, financial, social, and environmental feasibility of the project, as well as to mobilize the resources necessary for its implementation. The ECOWAS Commission will be responsible for coordinating the implementation of the project by interacting with beneficiary countries, donors, and other stakeholders.
In December 2022, the first meeting of the steering committee of the Amilcar Cabral telecommunications submarine cable development project was held. This project stems from the implementation of the orientations of articles 32 and 33 of the revised ECOWAS Treaty which constitute the basis of the region's commitment in the field of ICT in order to achieve its integration ambitions. The initiative can also be part of axis 2 of the ECOWAS ICT strategy which aims at the development and access to infrastructure.
According to Jacob Jusu Saffa, chief minister and coordinator of government activities in Sierra Leone, the Amilcar Cabral cable will not only provide a back link for existing unique submarine cables, but will also help increase broadband penetration in member countries and promote regional integration through digital communications and e-commerce facilities, thereby facilitating the creation of a single digital market in the ECOWAS region.