Bonny Island, Nigeria – The U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a grant to the Nigerian company Backbone Connectivity Network (BCN) for a feasibility study that will lead to faster, more reliable connectivity for millions of residents and corporate customers in Port Harcourt and the neighboring coastal communities of Nigeria’s South-South region. BCN selected HIP Consult Inc. of Washington, D.C. to conduct the study.
“Through USTDA’s Access Africa initiative, we are creating the environment where U.S. companies can effectively compete for the future of Africa’s telecommunications sector, while also building inclusive, secure and sustainable connectivity for our partners in Nigeria,” said Thomas R. Hardy, USTDA’s Acting Director. “Our support of this project also sends a clear, confident message about the role that small businesses like HIP Consult can play in the development of transformative infrastructure in top emerging markets like Nigeria.”
The South-South region of Nigeria lacks direct connection to subsea internet cables and depends on 385 miles of terrestrial fiber to transport international internet traffic through Lagos. USTDA’s study will help alleviate this internet traffic congestion and address growing demand for connectivity by evaluating the deployment of a subsea cable branching unit, a cable landing station, terrestrial fiber deployment and a data center.
BCN’s Managing Director/CEO, Ibrahim Dikko stated, “We are very proud to collaborate with USTDA towards the delivery of this important national project, especially in this extraordinary time and anticipated increase for telecommunications infrastructure in Nigeria. The project will support Nigeria’s ongoing economic diversification efforts and provide socio-economic advancement in the South-South region, including in Port Harcourt, a major coastal city without a nearby link to submarine cable systems and global internet bandwidth.”
“With USTDA’s funding, we will be able to provide the informed analysis needed to ascertain the economic feasibility required to attract financing,” said Judah J. Levine, CEO of HIP Consult. “We are proud to contribute our knowledge and resources to support BCN and are eager to demonstrate the benefits of American know-how and technology.”
Since 1992, USTDA has funded more than 65 activities in Nigeria, with the potential to leverage nearly $13 billion in financing. The project advances USTDA’s Access Africa Initiative and the U.S. government’s Prosper Africa initiative.
(Photographed, from left to right) Prince Chidi Ajuzie, BCN Chief Technical Officer; Heather Lanigan, USTDA Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa; Ibrahim Dikko, BCN CEO; Jillian Foerster, USTDA Country Manager; Josh Egba, USTDA Country Representative
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project preparation and partnership building activities that develop sustainable infrastructure and foster economic growth in partner countries.
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