The government of Mali is taking steps to improve its national telecom infrastructure as part of its digital transformation plans. The government has launched a project to extend the national fibre optic network to gradually provide Internet access to 65% of the population without it.
The contract for the project has been awarded to China International Telecommunication Construction Corporation for US$117.3 million following a cabinet meeting held on January 3.
The expansion will cover several areas, including Mopti, Koro, Tombouctou, Gao, Ansongo, and Labenzaga, and is expected to take 24 months to complete.
This investment aligns with the Malian government’s ambitious plans to create an environment that will support the emergence of startups, modernize administration, and foster sustainable economic prosperity. The government is developing a National Policy for the Development of the Digital Economy 2024-28.
This project is expected to improve the quality and reduce the cost of internet services in the targeted areas and extend the reach of these services to thousands of additional people.
Once completed, it will be a significant milestone in the efforts to increase internet access in Mali.
At the start of 2023, there were 7.91 million internet users in Mali, with an internet penetration rate of 34.5%. Additionally, the number of mobile phone subscribers stood at 22.48 million, covering 98% of the population, according to statistics from DataReportal.