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AfDB Receives Africa Investor Award as Sponsor of the Year

South Africa

Tunis, 26 October 2009 - The African Development Bank (AfDB) has been awarded “Sponsor of the Year” Award by Africa Investor magazine, in South Africa.

The award was given, 22 October 2009, in recognition of AfDB’s support to Main One cable project, a fiber optic submarine cable to be implemented in West Africa.

In September 2009, the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and Main One Cable Company signed a loan agreement of USD 61 million towards the development of a submarine fiber optic cable connection along the West African coast. With this investment, the Bank further expanded its wide support for African infrastructure and communication technology (ICT) projects following investments in the East African “EaSSy” submarine cable and the two satellites Rascom and New Dawn.

The project, totaling USD 240 million, involves the laying of 7,000 kilometers of submarine fiber optic cable between Seixal (a suburb of Lisbon) in Portugal, Accra in Ghana, and Lagos in Nigeria. The system is based on a trunk-and-branch topology and include branching units to the Canary Islands, Morocco, Senegal, and Côte d’Ivoire. The 1.92 Tbps of available bandwidth will be leased wholesale to telecom operators and internet service providers on an open access basis, thereby encouraging competitive pricing and a large customer base. The project has already attracted broad interest and MST, the Nigerian based sponsor, is in the process of securing long term contracts with a number of the largest operators in Nigeria and Ghana.

This recognition comes just after another award given the same month, in October 2009, by a Canada-based Magazine Afrique Expansion, from Montreal, in recognition of AfDB’s significant contribution to private sector development in Africa.

AfDB Private Sector Operations reached over 1,5 billion dollars in 2008. Financial intermediation accounted for the largest share of approvals (50%), followed by industry (31%), infrastructure (14%), agriculture (3%) and multi-sector (2%).

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