By Bampia James Bundu
During a working visit, the Ministry of Information and Communications and the Sierra Leone Cable Network (SALCAB) have inspected the National Fibre Backbone Phase 2 Project in Moyamba.
The second phase of the project which is expected to be completed in two years is being funded by the Chinese Government through a $30million loan for the provision of sustainable digital technology in the country.
The Government of President Julius Maada Bio is poised to strengthen ICT (Information, Communication, Technology) as a way of helping the country’s GDP growth through technology.
The 30 million dollar project contracted to Huwai Technologies seeks to complete the fibre backbone connection in all the initial 14 districts in the country.
The fibre backbone installation when completed will help generate significant revenue for the country and improve its gross domestic product.
The Acting Director of Communications in the Ministry of Information and Communications, Mohamed M. Jalloh, said inspection of the various project sites in Moyamba was to assess how far the company had gone and their level of commitment towards the project.
He noted that as a Ministry it is important for them to put the contractors on their toes for them to do the job within the stipulated timeframe and produce the required quality.
Director Jalloh continued that for Sierra Leone to benefit from broadband technology there is need for the backbone to be connected to enable speed and effectiveness of the country’s internet system.
The broadband technology, he explained, will create more jobs for young people and ensure that business and other activities are carried out faster through the Internet.
The Board Chairman of SALCAB, Sorie Fofana, commended HUWAI Technologies for working hard to actualize the wish of the President in making Sierra Leone a digitally connected country.
He said that the inspection was to help the Ministry and SALCAB get firsthand information on the progress of the project and ensure that quality work is done.
The Director General of SALCAB, Ishmael Kebbay said they were pleased to work with the Ministry in ensuring quality work done on Phase Two of the fibre project, noting that it will also address lapses identified in Phase One of the project.
He furthered that connection of the fibre backbone will help the country’s economic growth.
The Project Manager, HUWAI Technologies, Nana Yaw Amoako, commended the Ministry and SALCAB for visiting their project sites, saying they have started the civil work of the project which he described as the most important and difficult part of the project.
He said that once the civil work is finished they will start installation of other equipment and blow the fibre cables inside the High Defination Power pipes that will run the fibre from one point to the other with steady and sustainable internet.
He assured the Ministry and SALCAB of their commitment to completing the project at the stipulated time.
14 of the 16 districts in the country will be connected with fibre once the second phase of the project is completed.
This means the country will boast of 4G network that will benefit every Sierra Leonean in one way or the other.