Alcatel-Lucent is to provide the government of Burkina Faso with cloud networking technology that will enable it to develop new digital public services, such as e-government, e-learning and e-health.
According to a statement released to the media Alcatel-Lucent will supply the West African nation with its NFV (Network Functions Virtualisation), Cloudband and IP platforms, which will be integrated into the 'G-Cloud' infrastructure to being built around virtualised network resources from cloud nodes in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso's capital, and five provinces.
"Approximately 400 buildings in 13 regional urban centres will be connected through a 513Km fibre-optic IP/MPLS wide area network. Backhaul will be provided by an 800 km fibre-optic transmission system that will become part of Burkina Faso's National Fibre Optics Backbone," the statement reads.
Alcatel-Lucent and the Ministry of Development of the Digital Economy and Posts as well as the National Agency for the Promotion of ICT (ANPTIC) in Burkina Faso, have marked the launch of the G-Cloud project.
The project is part of an IT and telecommunications strategy being administered by the country's Ministry for Digital Development (MDENP - Ministère du Développement de l'Économie Numérique et des Postes).
The intention is to enable connectivity between public departments and municipalities via an e-government platform - an integral element of Burkina Faso's Economic and Social Development Strategy, SCADD (Stratégie pour une croissance accéléré et un développement durable).
"The network will support the anticipated increase in future demand for digital services to the health, education, justice, immigration, parliament and other sectors in the coming years," stakeholders have stated.
Under the agreement with MDENP, Alcatel-Lucent will support network and infrastructure operations to be installed by 2017.
Financing for the project is being facilitated by the Danish government through the Danida Business Finance agency, whose contribution to the project amounts to Eur 30 million (19.9 billion FCFA) with a direct grant subsidy of Eur 15.5 million (10 billion FCFA).
Nébila Amadou Yaro, Minister, Ministry of Development of the Digital Economy and Posts, said: "The G-Cloud network will allow the distribution of applications and resources at all times, wherever necessary, while providing consolidated cloud and network management. This will allow the system to be operated as a unique virtual environment. This project will have many positive impacts for Burkina Faso, including micro and macro-economic growth, and increasing the efficiency of health and education services."
Alpin Verlet, Head of Alcatel-Lucent activities in West and Central Africa said: "Alcatel-Lucent is proud and happy to build this project, the first 'Government Cloud' in the region, for the Government of Burkina Faso. This project will soon become a very strong exemplary project, showing how a forward thinking government is using the Cloud technology to provide its citizens with access to government's services."