Orange launches fibre backbone to support digital growth of West Africa
London, Nov. 16, 2020 (AltAfrica)-French Telecom giant, Orange has officially announced the commissioning and commercial launch of Djoliba, the first pan-African backbone, a terrestrial and subsea fibre network to help deliver connectivity throughout West Africa.
The project, which combines both terrestrial and submarine cables, will serve eight countries and support the digital growth of the region
The regional backbone reaches eight countries in total – Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal – with 16 points of presence and around 155 technical sites. From its submarine network it ultimately reaches around 300 points of presence around the world.
The Djoliba terrestrial fibre network spans over 10,000 km (around half of Orange’s total deployment in the region), alongside a further 10,000 km of submarine cables.
The overall goal of the project is to simplify interconnection processes between the neighbouring countries. Orange says that its goal is to provide quality connections to the region’s 330 million inhabitants.
“Orange is actively contributing to the development of undersea and terrestrial infrastructure which enable the African continent’s digital transformation, by investing 1 billion euros each year,” said Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa.
“With Djoliba, local populations will be able to access healthcare or educational services more easily, as well as the applications offered by cloud computing.
Development of access to digital technology is a key challenge for Africa and I would like to congratulate our teams in all the countries for their remarkable work that has enabled the Djoliba project to come to fruition.”
Orange claims that Djoliba is the first superfast, unified broadband network in Africa, noting that it will be run from the Senegalese capital, Dakar.
The African connectivity market is growing rapidly, with more and more people gaining access to the digital market every year.
Orange, for its part, is already present in 18 African nations and is one of the few operators in the region with the scale required to undertake a project of this scope.
“Djoliba is the fruit of a group effort, and thanks to a fully mobilised cross-functional team, we have been able to meet this sizeable challenge,” said Jérôme Barré, CEO of Orange Wholesale & International Networks.
“This human adventure illustrates the Orange Group’s strength, both due to its local presence through its subsidiaries and its capacity to build shared international assets.”