Unifying forces for a connected Africa: Smart Africa Alliance, Bayobab, and Africa50 sign MOU on Project East to West

28 November 2023

Kigali, Tuesday 28 November 2023 – The Smart Africa Alliance has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bayobab and Africa50 to support Project East to West with regulatory and policy engagements.

Project East to West aims to link landlocked African countries with an extensive terrestrial fibre optic network. This partnership recognises the vital role of pan-African collaboration in constructing telecommunication highways, essential to meet the surging demand and need for affordable connectivity solutions in Africa.

Frédéric Schepens, Bayobab Group CEO shares, “We are thrilled to join hands with the Smart Africa Alliance on Project East to West. This collaborative endeavour signifies the power of pan-African partners coming together to develop connectivity solutions tailored for African development. It exemplifies the unity of purpose among organisations that are dedicated to bridging the digital divide and enhancing connectivity infrastructure on the continent.”

This partnership underscores the imperative of bridging the digital divide by extending networks from Bayobab’s sixteen Subsea Cable Systems circled around Africa, connecting landlocked regions and creating more awareness of the initiative across the continent. Enhanced terrestrial fibre connectivity directly contributes to economic growth, strengthening businesses, facilitating e-commerce, and granting broader access to educational resources, thereby propelling development. The vision of Project East to West seamlessly aligns with the Smart Africa Alliance’s mission to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development and foster regional integration.

Africa50, a key partner in Project East to West, emphasised the pivotal role of this project in advancing regional integration and socio-economic development. “We believe that such transformational projects are key to creating a – future where our youth are given opportunities to learn, share, create and play an active role in building resilient societies through innovation and new technologies. Additionally, projects such as this contribute directly to delivering on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)”, said Demba Diallo, Managing Director and Head of Project Development, Africa50

The Smart Africa Alliance, currently represents 39 member countries across Africa and is tasked with the agenda to drive and accelerate the digital transformation of the continent. 

“Project East to West is a strong step towards bridging the connectivity gap on the continent, one of the key priorities of Smart Africa. We are extremely pleased to join hands with Bayobab and Africa50 on this highly critical initiative and we look forward to its swift implementation.” highlighted Lacina Koné, CEO of Smart Africa commenting on the MoU signing.

The MoU between the Smart Africa Alliance, Bayobab, and Africa50 underscores the pivotal role of connectivity as a catalyst for African development and growth, through enabling business expansion, job creation and skills development.


About Bayobab– Connecting Africa

Bayobab, previously known as MTN GlobalConnect is a pan-African digital connectivity solutions company founded in 2018. As a doorway to the African continent, Bayobab leverages technology to offer reliable open next-gen digital solutions to connect Africa. Our two business lines, Bayobab Fibre and Bayobab Communication Platforms aim to bridge the continent’s data divide by working behind the scenes to ensure the highest levels of availability, reliability, and encryption to ensure our customers and their end users can communicate safely from anywhere in the world.

About Africa50

Africa50 is an infrastructure investment platform that contributes to Africa’s growth by developing and investing in bankable projects, catalyzing public sector capital, and mobilizing private sector funding, with differentiated financial returns and impact. Africa50 currently has 34 shareholders, comprised of 31 African countries, the African Development Bank, the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), and Bank Al-Maghrib. For more information, visit: www.africa50.com.

About Smart Africa 

Smart Africa is an alliance of African countries, international organisations, and global private sector players tasked with Africa’s digital agenda. The Alliance is empowered by a bold and innovative commitment by African Heads of State to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development on the continent and usher Africa into the knowledge economy through affordable access to broadband and ICTs. With a vision to create a single digital market in Africa by 2030, the Smart Africa Alliance brings together Heads of State who seek to accelerate the digitalization of the continent and create a common market. Launched in 2013 by seven (7) African Heads of State, the Alliance now has 39 member countries, representing over 1 billion people and over 50 Private Sector members committed to Africa’s vision and advancement.

Contact us: 

Media Contacts:

• Bayobab Press Office | PressOffice@bayobab.africa

Visit: Bayobab.Africa

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/37478258/admin/

• Africa50 

Nana Boakye-Yiadom, Senior Communications Coordinator

Email: n.boakyeyiadom@africa50.com

Tel: +212666166308,.

LinkedIn: Africa50 

• Smart Africa 

Yvan Guéhi, Head of Brand and Communications

Smart Africa Secretariat

E-mail: comms@smartafrica.org

Website: www.smartafrica.org

Twitter: @RealSmartAfrica

Facebook: RealSmartAfrica

LinkedIn: Smart Africa


Category: Press Release