Mali awards CITCC US$117m contract to expand fibre network

Mali awards CITCC US$117m contract to expand fibre network

The government of Mali has reportedly awarded a contract worth US$117.3 million to China International Telecommunication Construction Corporation (CITCC) to extend its national fibre optic network.

According to Ecofin Agency, the Malian government approved the contract at a cabinet meeting last week in a bid to not only bridge the country’s digital divide, but also further its digital transformation ambitions.

Under the contract, CITCC will expand Mali’s fibre network to areas including Mopti, Koro, Tombouctou, Gao, Ansongo, and Labenzaga. The project is expected to take two years to complete, the report said.

The Malian government said the fibre project will not only extend broadband connectivity to the unconnected, but also improve quality and reduce the cost of internet services for those who already have broadband.

According to the latest public figures from GSMA Intelligence, there were 22.48 million cellular mobile connections in Mali at the start of 2023. That works out to 98% of the population, although that’s assuming only one connection per person. Meanwhile, according to DataReportal, only 34.5% of people in Mali had internet connectivity at the start of 2023.

Ecofin reports that the fibre expansion project is also part of Mali’s digital transformation strategy to create an ecosystem conducive to start-ups, modernize administration, and foster sustainable economic prosperity. Later this year, Mali is expected to release an official policy for developing its digital economy over the next four years.

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