The telecommunications networks of Cameroon and the Central African Republic (CAR) will be interconnected via land-based fibre optic network infrastructure by January 2023.
This follows an MoU signed this week in Yaounde between Cameroon’s Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Minette Libom Li Likeng and CAR’s Minister of Digital Economy, Posts and Telecommunications Justin Gourna Zacko.
The memorandum covers the physical and logical interconnection of the electronic communications networks of both countries.
It includes restoration channels to secure the telecommunications networks of both countries, as well as reduction of the costs and tariffs of electronic communications services. The MoU also spells out the modus operandi for the coordination of capacities for routing traffic between networks.
Minister Li Likeng said the agreement represents the determination of leaders within the CEMAC (Central African Economic and Monetary Community) to strengthen digital integration among member countries.
She said Cameroon will use the potential of this political will to position itself as the digital hub of Central Africa.
CAR’s Minister Zacko said the agreement is a first step towards a long-term collaboration driven by the will of the two countries’ people to respond to community needs.
While urging compliance with the scheduled date for interconnection, Zacko said CAR will take advantage of its proximity to Cameroon to leverage its digital infrastructure.
“Soon, specific agreements will be signed between the government of Cameroon through Camtel and the government of CAR through the infrastructure management company. I hope that before the closing date of our two CAB projects scheduled respectively for June 30, 2022 for Cameroon and December 31, 2022 for CAR, we will have benefited from this noble cooperation.”
Cameroon has penned similar interconnection agreements with Chad, Congo and Gabon.
The latest MoU forms part of the broader Central African Backbone (CAB) project. The CAB aims to interlink several central African countries through land-based fibre optic connections, and provide them with digital broadband access to the global network from the landing points of various submarine cables. Cameroon is already connected to SAT3, WACS, ACE, NCSCS and SAIL.