China awards Benin US$69mn broadband infrastructure loan

opendataThe country’s first licence for 3G and 4G mobile broadband services was awarded in early 2012. (Image source: Worldbank/Flickr)China has granted Benin a US$69mn loan to fund broadband infrastructure projects in the West African country

The funding agreement for broadband infrastructure projects was signed by Diao Mingsheng, ambassador of China to Benin, and Nassirou Arifari Bako, minister of Foreign Affairs of Benin.

Mingsheng said, "We have realised that Benin's government prioritises the construction of broadband infrastructures in the country and we hope that the fund for different broadband infrastructure projects will enable Beninese population who are not yet connected to get access to the Internet. The Internet promotes social and economic development and this fund is just meant to reinforce our cooperation relations.”

Nassirou Arifari Bako noted that the signing of the agreement was another strong signal of China's willingness to continue supporting Benin's development process. “This act comes at a time when Benin, just like other sub-regional countries, is migrating from analogue to digital broadcasting,” he added.

Although fixed-line Internet services have been available in Benin since 1995, access is limited to a small proportion of the population. Fixed-line Internet represents less that 10 per cent of all accesses with most connections being made via the mobile networks in the country.

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