Bayobab signs $320 million deal to develop Project East2West fibre

06 June 2023

Bayobab – formerly MTN GlobalConnect - has penned a $320 million agreement with Africa50 to develop Project East2West, a terrestrial fibre optic cable network that should connect 10 African countries by 2025.

“The partnership will offer substantial improvements in data traffic for internet service providers, mobile network operators, and hyper scalers operating in these countries,” said Bayobab in a statement. “It will also bridge the bottlenecks in global internet traffic landing in and going out of Africa. It is expected to cut latency by up to 65% on the east-to-west route.”

This investment will contribute to Bayobab reaching the group’s target of having 135,000km of proprietary fibre over the next three years. Currently, Bayobab has 107,000km of proprietary fibre of which 2,000 km was rolled out in the first quarter of this year.

“The alliance is more than cables and connections; it is about building bridges of connectivity that span nations and bring people closer together,” said MTN group president and CEO Ralph Mupita. “For landlocked African countries, Project East2West will improve latency by almost two-thirds and increase capacity to support high-quality broadband access. In this way, it will level the playing field and ensure that everyone has a fair chance to succeed in the digital world.”

“Project East2West is a remarkable and transformative project that will step-change Africa’s internet capacity expansion drive by supporting the growth and development of 4G and 5G,” said Africa50 CEO Alain Ebobissé. “This is an important project that will have a significant impact on Africa’s quest to make the internet accessible to most of its growing population. Partnering with a large pan-African company like Bayobab and MTN is important to roll out such an impactful cross-border project.”