The government of Liberia in partnership with CSquared and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will be deploying broadband Internet infrastructure in the country's capital city, Monrovia. This was announced by Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during Liberia’s 170th Independence celebrations on 26 July 2017.
The project will see $12 million being invested into deploying the necessary infrastructure in Monrovia. Added to that, Liberia's government has said that part of the project will also see the strengthening of essential health, education and government information and communicatio s technology systems. Added to this investment amount, USAID will be investing an additional $10 million to support some of the programs connected to the fiber deployment project in the areas of eGovernment, health information systems and digital financial inclusion.
“ICT is an integral part of economic development that is often overlooked and undervalued. By expanding our connectivity through this initiative, we will strengthen the support for more ICT based projects and programs in Education, Health and Infrastructure," said Liberia's President Sirleaf.
It has been reported that as little as under 5% of Liberia's population have Internet access.
What is interesting to note is that USAID will also be supporting the expansion of the digital economy in Liberia by providing access to a loan guarantee program for qualified, local, digital businesses and entrepreneurs. The amounts, terms and conditions of the loan were not available at the time of publishing.
“The United States is committed to helping Liberia provide all of its people increased access to the Internet,” said Christine Elder, United States Ambassador to Liberia.
This is not the first fiber deployment project that CSquared is involved in on the continent. The fiber infrastructure company, which counts Google and South Africa's Convergence Partners among its investors, has previously deployed shared metropolitan fiber infrastructure in Kampala and Entebbe (Uganda), and Accra, Tema, and Kumasi (Ghana).
"We are excited to be expanding into Monrovia, Liberia, our 3rd country after Uganda and Ghana. CSquared is committed to working with partners like the Government of Liberia and USAID to expand the ways people around Africa can reliably and affordably connect to the Internet. With 60% of the population of Liberia under the age of 24, we anticipate unprecedented growth in data consumption,” concluded Estelle Akofio-Sowah, West Africa Regional Manager at CSquared.
Cover Image Credit: Monrovia, Liberia. | Wikimedia Commons