Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful receiving signed documents from Export Director of NOKIA, Jan Plenge, to symbolize the handing over of the project.
THE DANISH International Development Agency (DANIDA) has provisionally handed over the extended portion of the Eastern Corridor Fiber Optic Backbone project to the Government of Ghana.
The 165 kilometers extended backbone project links Ho to Accra; and its implementation started in 2016 with Kenpong Construction Limited playing a key role as the subcontractor.
It seeks to provide a telecommunications infrastructure on which government’s digitization programmes shall operate.
The actual Eastern Corridor Fiber Optic Backbone Project, which spans 800 km, linking Ghana’s south and north as well as international submarine gateways, commenced in 2013 with a €38 million support from the government of Denmark. It serves major towns such as Ho, Kpando, Jasikan, Nkwanta, Bimbilla, Yendi, Tamale, Gushiegua and Bawku as well as 23 smaller communities.
The project, with a data centre and a managed service component to ensure the security of data on the entire network, was designed and implemented by Alcatel-Lucen, with support from Ghanaian construction company, Kenpong Construction Limited.
Speaking at the handing-over ceremony on Friday, April 13, the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, indicated that about 120 communities were connected along the Eastern Corridor route which is expected to be managed by the National Information Technology Agency (NITA).
According to her, the decision to link neighbouring communities along the fiber optic route was to enable them “utilize the high-speed access that it grants them to both voice and data connectivity.”
“Without a robust fiber optic network, it is too expensive to deliver telecommunication services to remote parts of the country or to deliver high-speed internet services to even those of us in the urban areas,” she observed.
“So it was imperative that the government put in place a fiber loop around the country on which we will utilize to extend services to all the communities along the route,” she added.
The minister explained that President Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) government is keen on digitizing the Ghanaian economy and providing a better e-governance service for the masses.
In a remark, the Ambassador of Denmark to Ghana, Tove Degnbol, described the Eastern Corridor Fiber Optic Project as the backbone of Ghana’s digitization strategy.