Benin: Isocel SA and its partners invest 1.5 million euros to connect up six cities


Isocel SA, one of the leading private Internet access providers in is to spend 1.5 million euros to connect up Benin’s six main cities. The project has received support from the Dutch Ministry of Development Cooperation through a grant of 750.000 € provided by the Private Sector Investment program (PSI). The goal is to establish six ICT Community Centers that offer a wide range of services related to information and communication technology and will be the main place where people of all ages and from all social classes can gather to use a computer and surf the Internet, to experience the benefits offered by the new technologies.

The financial support of the Government of the Netherlands is to cover 50% of the overall investment. The Bank Of Africa in Benin has also supported the project through a medium-term loan of 450.000 €. The rest of the investment required, amounting to 300.000 €, will be provided by Isocel SA and its partner International Gateway Infrastructure SAL in the form of equity.

The Benin government will also support the project by offering preferred rates for the acquisition of additional international bandwidth capacity on submarine cable SAT3 and for interconnecting the various sites across Benin through the national fiber backbone managed by the incumbent Benin Telecom SA, which connects the south of Benin to the borders of Niger and Burkina Faso. Isocel SA plans also to extend coverage of its wireless broadband access network to the cities of Bohicon, Djougou, Ouidah, Parakou, Porto Novo and Savalou.

Based on external studies commissioned by the government and conducted by independent consultants as well as internal studies, Isocel SA expects a further significant market growth in terms of subscribers for the period 2010-2015. The compounded annual market growth is estimated at over 61%, meaning that the number of subscribers served by the access network of Isocel SA will reach approximately 50,000 subscribers by 2015, while maintaining its market share at current levels.