Smart Africa Alliance, Bayobab, and Africa50 sign MOU on Project East to West

Source: 11/28/2023, Location: Africa

The Smart Africa Alliance has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bayobab and Africa50 to support Project East to West with regulatory and policy engagements.

Project East to West aims to link landlocked African countries with an extensive terrestrial fibre optic network. This partnership recognises the vital role of pan-African collaboration in constructing telecommunication highways, essential to meet the surging demand and need for affordable connectivity solutions in Africa.

Frédéric Schepens, Bayobab Group CEO shares, “We are thrilled to join hands with the Smart Africa Alliance on Project East to West. This collaborative endeavour signifies the power of pan-African partners coming together to develop connectivity solutions tailored for African development. It exemplifies the unity of purpose among organisations that are dedicated to bridging the digital divide and enhancing connectivity infrastructure on the continent.”

This partnership underscores the imperative of bridging the digital divide by extending networks from Bayobab’s sixteen Subsea Cable Systems circled around Africa, connecting landlocked regions and creating more awareness of the initiative across the continent. Enhanced terrestrial fibre connectivity directly contributes to economic growth, strengthening businesses, facilitating e-commerce, and granting broader access to educational resources, thereby propelling development. The vision of Project East to West seamlessly aligns with the Smart Africa Alliance’s mission to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development and foster regional integration.

Africa50, a key partner in Project East to West, emphasised the pivotal role of this project in advancing regional integration and socio-economic development. “We believe that such transformational projects are key to creating a – future where our youth are given opportunities to learn, share, create and play an active role in building resilient societies through innovation and new technologies. Additionally, projects such as this contribute directly to delivering on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)”, said Demba Diallo, Managing Director and Head of Project Development, Africa50.

The Smart Africa Alliance, currently represents 39 member countries across Africa and is tasked with the agenda to drive and accelerate the digital transformation of the continent.

“Project East to West is a strong step towards bridging the connectivity gap on the continent, one of the key priorities of Smart Africa. We are extremely pleased to join hands with Bayobab and Africa50 on this highly critical initiative and we look forward to its swift implementation.” highlighted Lacina Koné, CEO of Smart Africa commenting on the MoU signing.

The MoU between the Smart Africa Alliance, Bayobab, and Africa50 underscores the pivotal role of connectivity as a catalyst for African development and growth, through enabling business expansion, job creation and skills development.

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