19 April 2019
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Thursday, 28 February 2019 09:11

Exim bank promises speedy rural connectivity funding

Written by  Catherine Chimoyo
Minister responsible for ICT, Henry Mussa, makes a point during the discussions Minister responsible for ICT, Henry Mussa, makes a point during the discussions
Barcelona, Spain, February 27: The Exim Bank of China has promised the Malawi Government it will accelerate the release of resources for providing universal  mobile phone and internet connectivity to the people of Malawi.
Zeng Ming,  Exim Bank's Chief for sovereign business and concessional loans, made the promise during a meeting he held on Wednesday with the Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Henry Mussa, on the sidelines of the ongoing Mobile World Congress taking place in Barcelona, Spain.
"The bank is doing everything that is possible to accelerate the provision of the resources because we understand the importance of connectivity to people of Malawi especially those that live in the rural areas," Zing assured.
Mussa, who initiated the meeting, was glad with the Bank's commitment, saying the need to provide universal internet and mobile phone coverage to the people of Malawi was urgent.
"The Government of Malawi is seriously concerned that large areas of our country do not have internet connectivity and mobile phone coverage," Mussa pointed out during the meeting. "Things can not continue to be like this."
Government, through the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, obtained Parliament's approval late last year to implement the second phase of the national fibre backbone project to build towers across the country which will facilitate provision of connectivity to the rural areas.
The first phase of the project provided connectivity to urban areas and some of the resources approved by Parliament for the second phase project will also be used to implement the last mile connectivity whereby fibre will be connected from the landing points to the end users.
"If Malawi is going to be in step with the rest of the world we seriously need to connect our rural masses," Mussa added.
Ming, who was joined at the meeting by six of his top officials, explained that his Bank was in the process of finalising procedural stages before the funds are disturbed.
"We are happy with the speed at which the Malawi Government acted to provide us with the necessary documentation and we also want to respond with speed," he promised.
Government is attending the Mobile World Congress with the aim of identifying partnerships and investment in the ICT sector to facilitate the development and use of ICTs and the lowering connectivity cost.
A must-see -and- attend event in the telecommunications industry, the Mobile World Congress is held every year in Barcelona.
It facilitates meetings between different actors in the market so they can present their latest technological innovations and future models.


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