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MainOne partners World Bank to deliver connectivity in Burkina Faso

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World Bank and MainOne
MainOne, West Africa’s premier connectivity and data center solution provider, has been entrusted by the State of Burkina Faso, backed by the World Bank, to provide bulk connectivity services to a consortium of operators through the PAV-Burkina Cooperative, for the next three years.

Following an international bid to select a preferred operator, MainOne was chosen by the government of Burkina Faso (with financial backing from the World Bank) to provide PAV-Burkina with bulk capacity to nodes in Ouagadougou and Bobo Dioulasso.

MainOne CEO, Funke Opeke honored with Data Centre Dynamics “Business Leader of the Year” award

CEO, MainOne, Funke Opeke

A landlocked country, Burkina Faso has faced difficulties in accessing world-class connectivity and maintaining ubiquitous broadband internet access due to the lack of infrastructure and the reluctance of major operators to explore operational broadband service delivery models favorable for socio-economic development of the country.

To address this challenge, the PRICAO Initiative was created by the Burkina Faso Government, in collaboration with a consortium of Internet Service Providers and Mobile Operators.

The purpose of the initiative is to facilitate the creation of virtual landing points as a platform for the extension of broadband network coverage in the country, with a view to improving the quality of connectivity in the region; increase Internet penetration and improve the performance of ICT services.

In order to set up an independent and competitive framework for connectivity services, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Postal Services (MDENP) with the support of the World Bank, created a Cooperative Consortium (SCOOP PAV-BURKINA).

The consortium brings together key electronic service stakeholders to deliver a turnkey project that will provide fiber optic transmission infrastructure between Ouagadougou and Dakola, to be delivered in two (2) phases within a 3-year period.

This Cooperative has the heavy task of managing and administering the infrastructure judiciously in order to ensure a fair distribution for the various marker players.

The World Bank’s $20 million plus support of the PRICAO initiative, has enabled the Burkinabe State set up a 200km fiber optic transmission link from Ouagadougou to Dakola.

The first phase of the project commenced in 2018, with the initial stage providing capacity in Ouagadougou over 3 years. Phase 2 of the project will commence in quarter two of year 2020 and will lead to the provision of additional internet capacity in Ouagadougou and Bobo Dioulasso within another 3-year period.

MainOne, has been selected to deliver Phase 2 and will provide 10 Gbps broadband capacity in Ouagadougou, together with 5Gbps in Bobo Dioulasso.

Prior to this, MainOne had been selected in 2019 through a restricted bids process and currently deliver an additional capacity of 2.5Gbps to Ouagadougou to strengthen and secure the capacity initially delivered in Phase I of the project.

Leveraging their extensive partnership with key stakeholders in the region, MainOne has been able to provide its services in Burkina through a diverse terrestrial optical fibers connecting its landing point in Accra to the Burkinabe border town of Paga.

These projects and their success highlight the progress made by the Government of Burkina Faso and the initiatives of PAV-BURKNA with regards to critical broadband infrastructures and services in their quest to develop the digital economy.

This is in accordance with the Government initiative to strengthen infrastructure and improve connectivity in the country.

The collaboration with MainOne has shown that significant progress can be achieved through bulk capacity purchasing, effectively maximizing the values of existing fiber assets in the region, complemented by new investments supported by International Development Agencies (IDA).

This is improving service reach and reducing prices for consumers by removing cost duplication.

Through the Government’s action, financially supported by the World Bank and technically by the PAV BF cooperative, an increment in broadband internet penetration was recorded from 10% to 19% in 2019. With MainOne’s track record in the region, choosing them for Phase 2 of the project will guarantee a considerable increase in broadband penetration in Burkina Faso and attainment of Government’s digital objectives.

Telecoms

FACT-CHECK: Was broadband penetration 31% when Pantami resumed office as Minister?

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Pantami
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami,

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, while inaugurating Broadband Implementation Steering Committee (BISC) to monitor effective implementation of the ‘NBP 2020- 2025’ on Thursday, July 9, 2020 in Abuja, was reportedly claimed that broadband penetration was 31% when he resumed as Minister.

“This (implementation) has been going on for sometimes; the time we started this, the broadband penetration was 31% but based on the report released by the NCC just last week, the broadband penetration now is 40.18%. Within that period, we achieved almost 10% of broadband penetration in less than a year,” Pantami was quoted by Vanguard to have said (Nigeria hits 40.18% broadband penetration – Dr Isa Pantami).

The claim of 31% broadband penetration as at August, 2019, as claimed by the Minister has, therefore, generated heated debates and created confusion in some quarters in the industry, necessitating the decision by TechEconomy.ng to embark on a Fact-Checking Exercise with the poser below:

Question: Was broadband penetration 31% when Minister Pantami resumed as Minister of Communications (now Communications and Digital Economy) in August, 2019?

TechEconomy.ng’s painstaking fact-checking exercise, however, showed that the Minister was wrong and incorrect to have claimed that broadband penetration was 31% when he resumed office as Minister last year. This was because official data showed that penetration had surpassed 35% as at the time the Minister assumed office.

Based on the official statistics available on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as at the evening of July 9 (11:30 pm), shows that broadband penetration was not 31% when Pantami assumed office in August, 2019 as Minister.

Rather broadband penetration had already reached 35.10% as at August, last year. The 31% broadband penetration was achieved by the sector since December, 2018.

It would be recalled that, as at November, 2018, the country had achieved the 30% broadband penetration target set in the National Broadband Plan 2013-2018 and by December of that year, penetration had already reached 31%.

Therefore, the Minister’s claim that through his efforts, he has added about 10% increase to broadband penetration was misleading; since penetration was already 35.10% when he came on board and now, the figure stand at 40.14%, it means only about 5.04% increase in penetration has been added.

Broadband

Source: NCC website

Stakeholders called on the Minister to always lay claim to what was achieved as achievements under him and not unnecessarily arrogate to himself what achievement that was not achieved by the industry under him, as this is capable of misleading the industry stakeholders.

The objective of TechEconomy Fact-Check team is to ensure that information given inadvertently wrongly or the one given deliberately to distort fact for undue personal credit and which is capable of confusing industry stakeholders are kept straight for ensuring industry accountability and correct information dissemination.

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NCC Chairs ministerial broadband implementation steering committee; penetration rate hits 40.14%

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Broadband
Dr. Isa Pantami (centre) flanked by members of the Broadband committee
  • Pantami tasks Committee on commitment

  • Says broadband penetration now 40.14%

  • We’ll support the implementation – Danbatta

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has been saddled with the responsibility of leading the team that will ensure effective monitoring and steering of the overall implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) 2020-2025.

This followed the designation of NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Engr. Ubale Maska, as the Chairman of the newly-inaugurated Broadband Implementation Steering Committee (BISC) by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.

While inaugurating the inter-agency and multi-sectoral committee in Abuja on Thursday, the Minister said the central responsibility and mandate of the Committee, which will have its secretariat in NCC, is to ensure “effective monitoring for implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP), 2020- 2025.”

The Minister said the inauguration of the committee was part of the ongoing journey for a Digital Nigeria, which had received a boost since his assumption of office in August, 2019.

“The journey started with the approval for the transformation of the ministry and its parastatals in October, 2019 from mere ICT institutions to digital economy institutions by the President. This was followed by the unveiling of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) in November, 2019 and the development of a new NBP 2020-2025, which was launched by the President in March 19, 2020,” he said.

He explained further that all the efforts were meant to put Nigeria on the global digital economy map, supported by robust broadband infrastructure.

He noted that under the NDEPS, Solid Infrastructure components which is the 3rd pillar will provide the bedrock for the realization of the country’s digital economy vision.

“In the new National Broadband Plan, there are many targets. Principal of which are to cover 90 per cent of Nigerian population with broadband access and 70 per cent broadband penetration by 2025. We also plan to achieve a broadband speed of 25 megabits per second (mbps) in urban areas and 10 mbps in rural areas by the end of implementation of the new Broadband plan,” Pantami said.

While noting that the implementation of the new NBP had started fully and is resulting in the increase in broadband penetration currently at 40.14 percent, up from 35.10 per cent in August, 2019, the Minister said the ICT industry contributed 14.07 per cent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2020. He noted that increased broadband penetration will help Nigeria to achieve increased GDP growth.

The Minister, however, explained that problems of Right of Way, protection for telecom infrastructure and multiple taxations, which are critical to fast-track broadband infrastructure deployment and penetration are being addressed from all fronts. He added that the efforts are already yielding positive results with the engagement of relevant stakeholders including state government and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF).

Earlier in his remarks, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta commended the Minister for the inauguration of the committee and promised the support of the Commission towards realisation of the mandate of the Committee.

The Chairman of the Committee, Engr. Maska, also assured the Minister of the Committee members’ readiness to deliver on the assignment.

Also present at the inauguration are the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr. Kashifu Abdullahi; Managing Director, Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT), Dr. Abimbola Alale and Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone, Prof. Muhammed Abubakar.

The Committee draws membership from the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and agencies under its supervision, Including the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), World Bank, Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), among others.

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Layer3 marks fifteen years of delivering IT services in Nigeria

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Layer3
CEO of Layer3, Oyaje Idoko

Layer3, a leading IT services provider, is marking its fifteenth year of operations in Nigeria’s technology space.

Launched in 2005, Layer3 provides technology solutions ranging from network and security solutions, to cloud and access solutions and boasts of some of the most demanding global and national organizations in the private and public sectors.

Speaking on the company’s anniversary, the CEO of Layer3, Oyaje Idoko, said that the occasion was an opportunity to reflect on its growth over the past decade-and-half.  “For 15 years, we have supported organizations with the technologies they need to scale and thrive,” he said. “Each year, we remind ourselves of how far we have come on this journey.”

Mr. Idoko noted that the company’s work was driven by a mission to make organizations and individuals excel through technology. According to him, this was evidenced by the accomplishments its customers had recorded while working with Layer3.

“The work we do is meaningful and transformative,” he said. “There is evidence of this in the wins that our solutions have helped our clients achieve. We want the coming years to yield even greater successes for them, and for us.”

He also thanked all Layerons, both past and present, as well as its clients and partners, for the roles they have played in the company’s progress thus far.

In his remarks, the Executive Director at Layer3, Shatse Kakwagh, expressed his belief in the company as a positive force in Nigeria’s organizational landscape.

“Through sheer hard work and dedication to our vision, we are enabling the success of numerous businesses,” Mr. Kakwagh explained. “The technologies we provide to them have spurred growth across this country.”

As one of Nigeria’s leading IT services firms, Layer3’s services are enjoyed by organizations in various parts of the country and in other African countries. Her impact is also being felt through her Corporate Social responsibility projects and interventions especially in the education, health, and start-up innovation ecosystem. For instance, Layer3 has continually supported NCDC, allowing the agency to strengthen its communications and response capacities, as it tackles the COVID-19 pandemic.

Layer3 was recognized as one of the London Stock Exchange’s Companies to Inspire Africa in 2019. It has also been named one of the top five IT companies to work for by Jobberman and has won the Beacon of ICT Awards for Best Cloud Service provider in Nigeria, as well as the back-to-back awards for the best Customer Service in IT awards, amongst many other awards.

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