East African Business Week
Bujumbura — President Pierre Nkurunziza has invited both Burundians and foreigners living in Burundi to take advantage of opportunities offered by Information and Communication Technology (ICT) applications.
He was recently launching Burundi First Phase Backbone System (BBS) Network in Bujumbura.
Nkurunziza also asked operators and internet service providers to ensure that the final users can now enjoy quality services at reasonable costs. He also invited them to diversify public and private partnerships in the implementation of other ICT infrastructures.He asked public representatives and public officials at various levels and Burundian people to take care of the valuable infrastructure and prepare for the use of ICT in their daily activities.
The construction of the broadband infrastructure called 'National optical fibre backbone' which was officially launched in August 17, 2012 has now covered eight provinces; that is Bujumbura Capital City, Muramvya, Mwaro, Gitega, Karusi, Ngozi, Kirundo, and Muyinga which is completion of the first phase.
However Nkurunziza urged the contractor, BBS Company to accelerate the process of setting up the COMGOV network so that State institutions can enjoy dividends of optical fibre without delay and to complete the work of the ongoing Phase II and III in the remaining provinces as agreed upon.
He urgently appealed to partners and friendly countries of Burundi to continue to support the government actions in the ICT sector and more particularly in financing and implementing priority projects.
He said the government is determined to use ICT to ensure transparency, governmental accountability and to increase public participation in the government process.
"I reaffirm our commitment to mobilize the means at our disposal so that the implementation of our ICT policy can be successful. Our vision is to achieve universal access to ICT to accelerate the economic growth of our country in order to transform it into a centre of excellence and a hub of regional reference in the ICT sector by 2025,: he said. Nkurunziza expressed confidence that fibre optics infrastructure and broadband applications will contribute to address challenges that Burundi faces in the areas of health, education, energy, youth, employment and gender equality.
The Burundi ICT project was possible under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the support of the World Bank on behalf of the Government's share and now the country is connected to Rwanda and Tanzania via the submarine cable.