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Gabon has taken note of the World Bank’s call for countries in Africa to embrace technology in order to fully develop.

To this end the Gabonese National Agency for Numerical Infrastructure and Frequency, as well as the African Development Bank (AfDB) recently signed agreements for a feasibility study for the country’s component of the Central African Backbone (CAB) project.

The project requires integrated, innovative and transformative infrastructure, to provide the 901.8km fibre optic connectivity required to cover 14 missing links on the Gabonese national backbone.

As project lead, the AfDB will coordinate the preparation, structuring and packaging of the initiative to ensure subsequent funding and implementation.

The CAB-Gabon project is considered to be among the most innovative digital projects that the Bank plans to implement.

Sponsors will be identified to participate in the project under a win-win collaborative partnership with global players to invest in the best ICT technologies.

The envisaged large internet broadband will boost regional integration with Gabon, endowed with the largest ICT hub in Central Africa and able to attract international companies within the central free trade zone with innovations in various sectors.

The project will enhance regional integration in the Central Africa region through fibre optic infrastructure enabling cross-border interconnection exchange with neighbouring countries including Congo, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.

It is envisaged to open up opportunities that will integrate Gabon in the information and communications community, among other initiatives poised to close the digital divide, especially in rural areas and empower marginal communities.

The total project preparation cost is $900,000 provided by the Bank through the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility Special Fund, which enables African countries to prepare bankable regional infrastructure projects to promote integration to support socio-economic transformation.