Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Connectivity

Massive BCS fiber route & Orange digital center coming to DRC

Article Image
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed an agreement with wholesale telecommunications infrastructure provider Bandwidth and Cloud Services (BCS) to build new fiber optic backbone network in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Under the agreement, BCS will receive support for the advancement of the 1,200km fiber optic backbone network which will connect 319 schools and 70 hospitals and provide broadband Internet access to 2.5 million people throughout the Central African country.

The DRC government will in turn, waive the per-kilometer fiber license fee as well as provide rights of way on all public infrastructure, railroad, electricity poles, rivers and lakes.

"Expansion of the fiber-optic infrastructure will enable local communities, schools, and hospitals to benefit from mobile broadband, which ultimately means new opportunities for learning, business, jobs, and healthcare," said EIB Vice-president Thomas Östros in a statement.

This is not the first fiber-optic infrastructure project that BCS has been involved with recently, in January 2023, the company along with Dark Fiber Africa (DFA) completed the first stage of its long-haul fiber backbone project in Zimbabwe.

15th Orange Digital Center launched

Meanwhile in Kinshasa, pan-African operator Orange has officially launched its 15th African Orange Digital Center (ODC), an ecosystem entirely dedicated to the development of digital skills and innovation.

Orange has built similar Digital Centers in places like Sierra Leone, Botswana, Tunisia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Mali, Egypt, Jordan, Madagascar, Morocco, Liberia, Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon.

Like most other centers, the 500-square-meter Kinshasa facility will include a coding school, a solidarity FabLab – one of the Orange Foundation's digital manufacturing workshops – and an Orange Fab startup accelerator, supported by investment fund Orange Ventures Africa.

Orange DRC, in partnership with universities, will train students for free and roll out Orange Digital Center Clubs, extensions of the Orange Digital Center within some universities in the regions, the Paris-headquartered operator added.

This will add to the country's education system to give as many people as possible access to new technologies and support them in using these technologies to their full extent.

Bandwidth and Cloud Services to lay a fiber route while Orange opens its latest digital center in DRC.  (Source: Image by Freepik).
Bandwidth and Cloud Services to lay a fiber route while Orange opens its latest digital center in DRC.
(Source: Image by Freepik).

"I am very pleased to be present for the launch of our 15th Orange Digital Center in Kinshasa, which is part of a network of 25 Orange Digital Centers that will be deployed not only in Africa and the Middle East but also in Europe by 2023," said Orange Middle East and Africa CEO Jérôme Hénique.

"The objective is to democratize access to digital technology for young people – with or without qualifications. We want them to be part of the digital transformation of their country by encouraging them to become digital entrepreneurs, to create local content and digital services, and thus develop the digital economy of the Democratic Republic of Congo," Hénique continued.

DRC bridging the digital gap

The new BCS fiber optic backbone in DRC as well as the new Orange Digital Center come at the right time and in line with bridging the country's digital divide.

Statistics from Datareportal show that there were 23.04 million Internet users in the Democratic Republic of the Congo at the start of 2023, and Internet penetration stood at 22.9%.

Even though Kepios analysis indicates that Internet users in the DRC increased by 731,000 (3.3%) between 2022 and 2023, more than half the population, or about 77.57 million people, in the DRC did not use the Internet at the start of 2023.

Therefore, these new developments in the DRC are coming at an opportune time as data connectivity in the country is needed.

Related posts:

*Top image source: Image by www.slon.pics on Freepik

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

Five mobility startups to watch in 2024

Connecting Africa has compiled a list of five mobility startups that are making a difference in the communities they serve.

Story

Orange Ventures, Digital Africa promise more funding for startups

Orange Ventures and Digital Africa are teaming up to invest more in tech startups in Africa and the Middle East through Digital Africa's Fuzé program and the Orange Digital Center network.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Follow us on X

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.

Story

The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Guest Perspectives

Story

How e-mobility could transform Africa's transport sector

By Francis Hook

ICT analyst Francis Hook delves into Africa's e-mobility sector and unpacks the challenges faced locally and the benefits the move to electric vehicles could bring to urban transport systems.

Story

Omdia View: April 2024

By Omdia Analysts

April 2024's telecoms highlights in the Middle East and Africa included a license for Starlink in Ghana, new mobile termination rates in Ethiopia, and 6G trials in Bahrain – that and more in the latest Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up
Tag id test-002