See also:
» 02.06.2009 - World Bank approves US$ 80m grant for Burkina Faso
» 22.05.2009 - Internet via microwave in Burkina Faso
» 11.05.2009 - Ghana and Burkina Faso sign fibre optic networks agreement
» 13.02.2009 - Burkina Faso gets $61million for roads rehabilitation
» 06.06.2008 - Experts approve joint border posts in West Africa
» 13.09.2006 - New airport for Burkina Faso by 2011
» 29.09.2004 - Burkina Faso's road network to improve
» 23.07.2003 - Benin improving international road connections

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Burkina Faso
Economy - Development | Technology

Burkina Faso opts for Internet boom

afrol News, 19 June - Burkina Faso's Prime Minister Tertius Zongo in a meeting with the country's telecom operators urged a new orientation in infrastructure investments. As telephone services now were available country-wide, focus must now be on the Internet.

Prime Minister Zongo earlier this week headed a meeting between national telecom operators and the Burkinabe Minister of Information Technologies to call for a new "partnership with government." Ouagadougou authorities want to "achieve visible results and benefits" for both the population and for operators, PM Zongo said in a statement.

Since Burkina Faso had embarked on a liberalisation of the telecom sector eight years ago, infrastructure investments in the country had been tremendous and operators had been able to extend affordable services to the entire country, he found. "The results achieved after eight years are beyond all expectations," the PM noted.

Mr Zongo told operators that new policies now were put in place to take the Burkinabe telecom boom even further. At this stage, "the government's ambition is to go beyond telephone coverage all over the national territory and to make information technology and communication a key element of economic and social development of the country," he explained.

The PM expected operators to partner with government to achieve these new goals in the same way as telephony development was pushed forward during the last years. The new strategy would focus more on Internet related infrastructure.

Three "structural initiatives" had been made by government, which required "the support of telecommunications operators," he explained. First of all, authorities wanted to see the construction of a good network of fibre-optic cables capable of carrying broadband Internet to large parts of the country.

Further, the Burkinabe PM asked operators to participate in the upcoming process of defining a "comprehensive and integrated cyber-legislation" for the country, in addition to the development of sectoral "cyber-strategies". New legislation was "deemed to be based on best international practices," Mr Zongo promised operators.

The backbone and Internet service provision in Burkina Faso is still the state-run national telecom operator ONATEL (Office National des Télécommunications), through its subsidiary Fasonet. Services are mostly limited to dial-up Internet on slow and unstable lines. Large investments in fibre-optic cables would need to be made to provide the country with speedy and reliable Internet services.

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