Africell, USTDA undertake feasibility study on digital expansion

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By Ishmael Dumbuya

Africell and the United States Trade and Development and Agency (USTDA) yesterday 6th May launched a mega project aimed at the expansion of digital connectivity across Sierra Leone.

The event took place at the Africell American Corner, Bathurst Street, Freetown.

Speaking on the significance of the project, the US Ambassador, Bryan Hunt, stated that Sierra Leone’s long term development and economic prosperity fundamentally depends on unlocking the potential and innovation in its private sector and in creating the necessary climate to incentivize both foreign and local investment.

He noted that in this age, it’s important in advancing digital connectivity as it is a foundational component of economic growth. 

“Investors in every sector consider the reliability, availability and speed of a country’s digital connections to be an integral part of a nation’s investment climate,” he mentioned.

The ambassador went on to state that Sierra Leone has for far too long been a detractor to potential investors, noting that the partnership is an important step forward in changing that reality and investing in the infrastructure that can propel Sierra Leone’s digital development forward. 

Hunt disclosed that the United States commitment to enhancing internet access in Sierra Leone through private sector driven initiatives underscores their dedication to fostering quality, secure and inclusive digital connectivity across the African Continent.

“This project is only one of the concrete steps that the US Trade and Development Agency is taking is taking as a co-lead of the Biden-Harris Administration Digital Transformation with Africa initiatives. Our intent is not only to connect Sierra Leoneans to the internet, but also to create opportunities for U.S companies to invest in Sierra Leone’s digital infrastructure market,” he concluded.

Shadi Gerjawi, Africell’s CEO applauded USTDA for funding such mega project. He added that Africell has been operating in Sierra Leone for 19 years now and their contribution to digital transformation cannot be underestimated.

Shadi noted that technology is very significant in era of ours and USDTA’s expansion effort will help people in hard to reach areas to be connected. He expressed hope that the project will be successful and sustainable as the need for technological drive has grown. Rewrite the news.

Salma Bah, Minister of Communication, Technology and Innovation highlighted the government’s commitment to broadening internet access across the country, adding that the project forms part of President Bio’s technological proliferation.

The launched feasibility study was made possible by the U.S government, through the U.S Trade and Development Agency. The study will facilitate the expansion of Africell’s fiber backbone network nationwide and advance the complementary expansion of its fixed broadband networks in up to 32 cities and towns.

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