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Trans-saharan fiber optic backbone

The “Trans-Saharan fiber optic backbone” project is a part of the initiative of the new partnership for the development of Africa “NEPAD” linking six countries: Algeria, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Mali and Mauritania.

The backbone is a project with added value and considerable economic profitability for the countries concerned which aspire to go beyond Internet connectivity in order to develop a digital economy. This backbone is also a fundamental feat of great value which supports complementarity initiatives in the African continent, particularly the countries bordering Algeria.

Furthermore, this project aims to contribute to reducing development imbalances in African countries through the encouragement of innovation among young people not previously connected to the Internet, to enable them to promote their products and services around the world and thus meet Sustainable Development Goals 9 and 10 defined by the UN in its 2030 action plan. In order to coordinate and continue the work of the project, a committee called “the Liaison Committee of the Trans-Saharan Fiber Optic Backbone “CLDT” was created with its headquarters in Algeria.

The committee in question aims to examine and carry out the Backbone between member countries, thus, its mission is to:

  • Assistance in finding funding from national, regional and international institutions;
  • Coordination and consistency of project routes between Member States;
  • The exchange of experiences in the field of development of the digital economy between Member States;
  • The collection and exchange of technical, economic and scientific information with countries and institutions interested in the DTS project, in the spirit of the political and socio-economic commitments made by the countries.

In this context, it is important to note that Algeria has completed, in accordance with internationally approved technical and environmental standards, the work on the trans-Saharan backbone, with the achievement of 2,548 km of optical fiber, linking Algiers to In Guezzam ( on the Algerian-Nigerian border), in addition to the deployment of a secondary link to the wilaya of Tindouf (Algerian-Mauritanian border).

Concerning the other CLDT member countries, the project is progressing at a sustained pace within a framework of coordination and collaboration in order to complete the route of the optical fiber passage and find adequate means of financing.

Algeria aims, through this structuring project, to become a regional hub in terms of regional connectivity. To this end, it supports partner countries in completing the rest of the remaining sections, while inviting countries without any coastal strip to exploit its own international bandwidth capacities connecting it to the internet network via submarine cables.