A high-powered delegation from World Bank Group on Development Finance headed by its Vice President Axel Van Trotsenburg on Tuesday 30th May 2017 visited the facility of the Fiber Optic Cable in Lumley, Freetown.
The purpose of the visit as explained by the Sierra Leone Cable Limited (SALCAB) Managing Director, Mohamed Sheriff is to get firsthand information on the operation of the fiber optic in Sierra Leone which is funded by World Bank as part of President Ernest Bai Koroma’s government mission to increase broadband connectivity in the country.
The visit of the high-powered delegation is part of a follow up World Bank Group (WBG) Development Finance Forum (DFF) to boost private sector investment in the country.
Briefing the delegation, the Managing Director of the Sierra Leone Cable Limited (SALCAB), Mohamed Sheriff informed his guests through a conducted tour into in to the building that house the fiber optic for transparency.
Mr. Sheriff updated his visitors that SALCAB started a drive in providing internet connectivity to ten schools and ten universities across the country, amongst these schools are but not limited to; Albert Academy, Prince of Wales, Freetown Secondary School for Girls (FSSG), Bo School, Saint Francis Secondary School, Magburaka Boys School, and Fourah Bay College (FBC), Milton Margai College of Education and Technology (MMCET), College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COHMAS), Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM), Njala University, University of Makeni etc. Mr. Sherriff further explained that all installation in these colleges and schools will be completed by July this year.
SALCAB MD further explained that 77 government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have been connected with fiber and this has made the workload in these MDAs easier.
Expressing his gratitude to SALCAB and the government on behalf of Njala University, the ICT Director of Njala University, Mr. Thomas Songu, thanked SALCAB for helping them with fiber optic connection at the moment they needed it most. He added that, prior to fiber optic in Njala University, not only did student find their workload cumbersome, lectures also where having a hard time without a good internet connection. With the introduction of the fiber optic connection, student and lecturers can now easily interact and get much need study materials online easily and effectively.
Similar sentiments were also expressed by Tamba Francis Morsay, The IT officer at FBC and the Federal President of MMCET, Abdul Turay.
Mr. Sheriff also said, adhering to the local content policy in the country, a local IT company, Tiwai Memory Masters, was contract for the installation of fiber optic in the ten schools and university across the country.
The World Bank Group on Development Finance team were very pleased with the work of SALCAB. The delegation comprises of WBDF VP. Axel Van Trotsenburg, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, World Bank Group, VP. Karin M. Finkelston, World Bank Country Manager, Parminder Brar and other senior World Bank officials.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.