Thousands of homes, offices and enterprises can now get connected to the fastest and most reliable internet highway as The Gambia yesterday signed the national ICT strategic agreement with Chinese global tech giant Huawei at a twinned event which also included the formal launching of the national broadband network project, NBP.
The ceremony was presided over by vice president Dr Isatou Touray and attended by the Chinese Ambassador to the Gambia and the West African regional director of Huawei.
The vice president, who represented President Barrow expressed deep gratitude to the Chinese government and president Xi Jinping for their support to the Gambia.
She said China has been committed to supporting the New Gambia in many respects and the national broadband is one of the most important cooperation projects.
“The project not only extends the country’s 400 km optical fiber but also plays an important role in the national development plan.
It has succeeded in making the last mile of the original national optical network so that households and enterprises can easily access the internet at a lower price and enjoy digital services,” she said.
Mr Seedy Jaiteh, MD of Gamtel expressed appreciation to the guests and introduced the NBP as the first concessional loan project between The Gambia and China at the tune of 26 million dollars.
The project will be delivered by the Gamtel and Huawei team within 18 months closely watched by both presidents Barrow and Xi Jinping.
“Gamtel will now launch the G- Fiber series products base on the project to provide gigabit fiber services for home (FTTH) and enterprises, the FTTB. This indicates that Gambia entered the digital era”, MD Jaiteh said.
The Huawei CEO for West Africa said what started as a fruitful discussion two years ago has now materialised into The Gambia national broadband network project, a national information highway.
“This project not only connects schools, homes, banks and industries but also creates more employment,” he said.
Other speakers included Ebrima Sillah, the minister of information and communications infrastructure who thanked the joint implementation team for a job well executed and on budget.