Amilcar Cabral submarine plan develops

26 June 2024

Plans to build a fibre-optic submarine cable connecting six members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have reportedly been moving forward this month after key meetings in Guinea-Bissau and Guinea.

The ECOWAS Commission’s Amilcar Cabral submarine telecoms cable project aims to deploy a subsea cable connecting Cabo Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The goal is to boost international bandwidth capacity and redundancy for each country, as well as supplement existing landing stations.

ECOWAS member states held their fourth meeting for ministers of information and communication technologies (ICT)/digital economy and finance/planning towards the end of June in Bissau to discuss how to move forward with implementation of the cable.

Key outcomes of the meeting include approval of a phased approach to the Amilcar Cabral cable under which the project will kick off in countries that have secured the financial resources for the project, with mechanisms for reimbursement by other participating nations under an ECOWAS-prepared agreement, according to the report. The Gambia and Guinea have mobilized financing for the project from the World Bank via the West Africa Regional Digital Integration Program (WARDIP).

Participants also set deadlines for establishing Special Purpose Companies (SPCs) in each country to execute the project, as well as completing detailed implementation studies led by Guinea and The Gambia.