The World Bank has agreed to fund the construction of a $43 million fiber-optic cable project that will connect Kenya with South Sudan, Africa’s newest nation.
The construction of the project, commissioned by Kenya and South Sudan, is expected to help ensure that South Sudan is not left behind in the ongoing development of East Africa’s communication infrastructure.
The project is expected to be completed in 2019 and will be South Sudan’s first optic fibre cable since gaining independence from Sudan in 2011.
Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the two countries, the Kenyan government will be responsible for laying the cable to the border with South Sudan while South Sudan will lay the cable around the country.
The World Bank, Africa’s largest funder of ICT projects, expects the cable to improve communications in South Sudan, where a civil war has killed thousands of people and left millions homeless.
For Kenya however, the project is part of the second phase of the inland nationwide network, the National Fiber Optic Backbone Infrastructure plan that is expected to cover 2,100 kilometers and link all of the country’s county headquarters.