In brief

12 January 2018

Telecoms

The Chadian government has increased the annual fees paid by mobile network operators from 7% of annual revenue to 9%, Agence Ecofin reports. The higher levy came into effect from 1 January this year and follows several years of tax increases, the rate having increased from 4% to 7% between 2014 and 2016. Earnings from the tax will be distributed between the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Post (L’Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes, ARCEP), the ICT Development Agency, the National School of ICT and the treasury, whilst a small portion will go towards national security.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced that financing has been agreed for the Central African Republic (CAR) component of the Central Africa Backbone (CAB) project. The AfDB will provide EUR16.7 million (USD20 million) for the project, while the EU will grant an additional EUR16.6 million. The project will enable CAR to begin the operations and development of its national fibre-optic backbone and provide it with its first international fibre routes with neighbouring Cameroon and Congo. The project is to be implemented over the period 2018-2021, and will comprise the deployment of 1,000km of fibre-optic cable along the following two routes: Bangui-Boali-Bossembele-Yaloke-Bawi-Baoro-Carnot-Berberati-Gamboula-Kentzou (interlinking with Cameroon); and Bangui-Berberati-Nola-Bayanga-Bomassa (Congo). There are also plans to establish a local urban loop of 50km in Bangui. The project’s executing agency, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), will soon launch a call for applications for a company to manage the national backbone. The private partner will be responsible for the technical operation of the national fibre-optic backbone and the marketing of available capacity for interested operators.