The European Investment Bank (EIB) has committed to supporting transformational telecommunications across Guinea with a long-term loan of $30million to IPT Powertech Guinea.

The aim of this move is to improve the sector’s service delivery by reducing its dependence on diesel generators for power and providing energy-efficient sources for its infrastructure. It will run for about 8 years and would facilitate the use of renewable energy and battery power while reducing the use of diesel plants by Orange Guinea towers across the country.

According to the Vice President of the European Investment Bank, Ambrose Fayolle, “ensuring access to reliable mobile telecommunications is key for economic and social activity and this visionary project will contribute to sustainable development for millions of people across Guinea.”

He also announced that the European Investment Bank is pleased to agree $30 million support for new telecom investment in West Africa that will transform reliability, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and expand mobile coverage.

Fayolle added that the new partnership between the EU Bank and IPT Powertech Guinea represents a model for high impact telecom investment in Africa.

Blackout protests in the West African country are common despite the fact that customers are mostly forewarned of imminent power cuts by Guinea Electricity. Power cuts occur due to late arrivals of fuel shipments which hinders effective power supply. The EIB’s project will address power cuts in telecoms by providing more reliable energy supply for 1,500 Orange Telecom towers across Guinea. Currently, mobile phone services can be unavailable for 4 hours a day due to power shortages.

Going forward, Guineans are sure to experience qualitative and unrestricted mobile network services. Entrepreneurs will also enjoy significant growth in their businesses while students and educators will experience learning ease due to improved internet services.

According to Khaled Habbal, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of IPT Powertech Group: “IPT Powertech is committed to improving telecommunications infrastructure.” He added that “the $30 million backing confirmed today with the European Investment Bank will accelerate our contribution to ensuring more reliable and clean energy telecommunications across Guinea.”

The project is expected to enable energy-saving of more than 75% to be achieved. It will replace fossil-fuel diesel generators and air conditioning units with solar panels and battery technology. This would help to contribute positively to climate change.

According to Aboubacar Sadikh Diop, CEO of Orange Guinea about “…7.5 million customers stand to benefit from improved access to Orange’s telecoms infrastructure with green energy in the entire country.” He stated that the project will help the company achieve its sustainable development goals, clearly illustrating how energy efficiency can cut carbon emissions from the telecommunication sector.

In today’s world, mobile connectivity has enhanced the lives of billions of people in the areas of communication and learning. In Guinea, it is the primary means of communication and it helps the youth to learn new things on the internet. This project, therefore, will bring about human capital development.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the lending arm of the European Union. It is recognised as the multilateral financial institution in the world and one of the largest providers of climate finance. It helps EU member states and developing economies to create jobs, promotes equality and improves the lives of its citizens.

By Ishioma Eni.

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