Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has cut sod to commence the construction of the US$42million Western Corridor Fibre-Optic Project.
The Western Corridor Fibre-Optic Project involves the development, finance, construction and operation of an ultra-modern backhaul/broadband communication infrastructure covering the Western Corridor of Ghana; to enhance service provision, education and other-services required under the national Information Communications Technology for accelerated development policy.
The project involves laying around 881 kilometres of in-land fibre-optic cables for an extensive broadband network along the Western corridor: passing through major towns such as Takoradi, Atuabo, Elubo, Enchi, Amoya, Asawinso, Wiawso, Awaso and Bibiani.
It will further connect some major towns in the Brong Ahafo Region – such as Goaso, Berekum and Sunyani, and complete the loop at Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
At the sod-cutting ceremony in Takoradi, Dr. Bawumia explained that the project is expected to create direct and indirect jobs for about 12,000 people. The first phase is expected to be completed within 18 months.
He explained that the project is a private sector-led solution and initiative by Spectrum Fibre Company, a wholly Ghanaian-owned Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) set up to execute the project.
“Completion of the project will ensure local communities, government, business and key sectors operating within the Western corridor of the country have access to fast, reliable and affordable broadband network services,” he said.
Also, he said, it will provide easy access to broadband services – which will provide new opportunities to businesses, schools, homes and the nation.
“I am also pleased with the role that the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) has played in this project,” he said – explaining that government established the GIFF to help develop commercially viable infrastructure projects through Public Private Partnership (PPP) solutions and private financing.
“It is gratifying to see them respond to this challenge by working with the local Ghanaian sponsors to provide this critical communications infrastructure; this is a home-grown solution and I look forward to seeing many more GIIF-led examples of this going forward.”
Prof. Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, Board Chairman of GIFF, added: “This investment opportunity meets GIFF’s mandate, objects and development focus”.
The GIFF, he pointed out, helped finance the new terminal at Kotoka International Airport which will be opened very soon; and is also working diligently on at least four other projects covering the power, transport and hospitality sectors.
“GIIF is very proud to support the Ghanaian sponsor group as they look to develop an ICT project that could become a strategic asset for the country and help boost the economy of Ghana’s Western Corridor,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer of GIFF, Solomon Asamoah, said ICT is a principal source of growth and job-creation, and that the project will contribute to the country’s transformation.