At the recent Kinshasa Economic Forum, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Bandwidth and Cloud Services Group (BCS) a pan-African wholesale telecom infrastructure provider, signed a warrants agreement that will allow BCS to move forward with its plans to install a new fibre-optic backbone in the eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The warrants agreement follows a US$10 million quasi-equity investment from EIB Global, the EIB’s arm dedicated to international partnerships and development finance. The financing package addresses BCS’s immediate funding needs to support its fast and long-term growth.
The partners say that more than 2.5 million people in the DRC will benefit from faster, cheaper and more reliable digital connectivity thanks to the new fibre-optic network investment being rolled out by BCS and backed by Under Global Gateway, the EU’s positive offer for trusted and sustainable connections with partner countries.
The new fibre-optic infrastructure will enable high-speed broadband internet in homes, schools and hospitals, opening up access to digital services and information, and contributing to the country’s digital transformation.
The EIB-backed investment by BCS will connect areas currently underserved by high-speed telecoms. Better access to the internet will unlock new opportunities for local entrepreneurs and support job creation. In addition, direct telecom connections to 319 schools and 70 hospitals and health centres will improve education and public health.
The investment will also enable regions impacted by conflict to benefit from better mobile broadband coverage and reliable communication.
BCS Group has entered into a long-term funding partnership with the EIB. This is part of the EIB’s continued collaboration with BCS following an US$18 million funding in 2018.
This investment will enable the construction of 1,200 kilometres of fibre, part of the 20,000 kilometres that BCS plans to build in Southern, Central and Eastern Africa over the next three years.