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World Bank approves $92mn DRC fibre network loan

World Bank approves mn DRC fibre network.

The World Bank has approved a $92 million loan for the roll-out of a fibre network in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

According to a statement from the World Bank last week, its board of executive directors approved a grant to support the fifth phase of the ‘Central African Backbone Programme’ (CAB) for the DRC.

The national fibre optic network also plans to connect the country’s most populated economic clusters of Kinshasa (West), Goma (East) and Lubumbashi (South). The network is intended then to also connect to other countries.

“This project provides a unique opportunity to set up critical infrastructure and capitalise on the transformative power that Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have to promote growth and open new job opportunities to Congolese citizens," said Eustache Ouayoro, the World Bank's country director for the DRC, in a statement.

By linking the three economic clusters, the network is also planned to provide private telecoms operators the opportunity to offer competitive, continuous services nationwide on a shared infrastructure network.

Colin Bruce, World Bank director for regional integration in Africa, added, "The project is part of the Great Lakes Initiative ‘Reviving the Great Lakes: A World Bank Group Regional Initiative for Peace, Stability and Economic Development’. It would not only establish communications links connecting the east of the DRC to Kinshasa, but also increase DRC’s connectivity to the other Great lakes countries."

The Central African Backbone project is planned to be executed over a five-year period.

The World Bank is a financial institution of the United Nations and it provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.

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