World Bank loans to boost ICT in Mauritania and Togo

net  breahnThe investments are expected to expand access, improve quality of voice and Internet communications and serve as the backbone for greater private sector investment in ICT services. (Image source: breahn/Flickr)The World Bank has approved two US$30mn credits to support efforts to strengthen telecommunications connectivity through fiber-optic broadband network expansion in Mauritania and Togo

The facility will also introduce legal and regulatory reforms to promote private sector competition.

A statement issued by the bank said that the investments will be expected to expand access, improve quality and reliability of voice and Internet communications and serve as the backbone for greater private sector investment in ICT services.

The project is part of the second phase of a US$300mn West Africa Regional Communications Infrastructure Programme (WARCIP) directed at bridging connectivity gaps between 16 West African countries and rest of the world.

World Bank director for regional integration Colin Bruce said, “We want to harness Africa’s ongoing ICT revolution to address the development challenges confronting West African states. High capacity, reliable, regional broadband networks can enable communications, commerce and trade in services across borders. It is the cornerstone of developing a modern regional economic zone in West Africa.”

With research indicating that a 10 per cent increase in internet broadband penetration leads to about one per cent of economic growth, the bank said, the investments are bound to prove beneficial for the growth prospects of the West African nations. 

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