More than 2.5 million people living in remote eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo will benefit from transformed digital connectivity under new fibre-optic network investment being rolled out by BCS and backed by the European Investment Bank.
The USD 10 million European Investment Bank support, the EIB Global first quasi-equity investment and second cooperation with BCS was formally announced earlier today at AfricaCom 2022 in Cape Town.
“Africa is at a crucial point in the digitization age. The rapid growth of her Telecommunication infrastructure is one of the key factors that will allow the realization of her true potential. As BCS we are excited to be part of Africa’s journey to achieving regional connectivity. Our mission is to enable internet access to more than 300 million people in Africa through our infrastructure. Our continued partnership with the EIB will see our company continue to deploy its fiber optic expansion plans to build over 20,000 kilometers across Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa providing regional and rural connectivity by serving underserved areas. This will play a major role in transforming quality internet penetration, access, and affordability.” Yonas Maru, MD BCS Group.
“The European Investment Bank is committed to accelerating digitalisation across Africa and pleased to strengthen our partnership with BCS to transform high-speed fibre optic networks in the DRC. Expansion of the fibre optic backbone will enable local communities to benefit from mobile broadband and hospitals and schools to be connected to the rest of the world.” said Thomas Östros, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank.
Expanding high-capacity telecoms across the DRC
The new EIB backed investment by BCS will connect areas currently underserved by high-speed telecoms. Better digitalisation will unlock new opportunities for local entrepreneurs and support job creation, and direct telecom connections to 319 schools and 70 hospitals and health centres will improve education and public health.
The new investment will enable regions impacted by conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic to benefit from better mobile broadband coverage and reliable communications.
BCS Group has entered into a long-term funding partnership with the EIB for a further US$10 million. This is part of the EIB’s continued partnership with BCS following a USD18 million funding in late 2018.
This project shall contribute towards the construction of 1,200 KMs of fiber which is part of the 20,000 kms that BCS is planning to build in Southern, Central and Eastern Africa over the next 3 years.
Over the last decade the European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 1 billion for telecom investment across Africa.