Enabling affordable access to fibre infrastructure for West and Central African higher education institutions

In recent years, tremendous progress has been made in improving access to primary and secondary education in West and Central Africa. At the same time, tertiary education is experiencing increased enrollment and declining investment in infrastructure and human resource development. Consequently, African institutions of higher learning are not benefiting from the opportunities offered by information and communication technology (ICT) for distance learning, resource sharing, information exchange, etc. due to inadequate bandwidth or its high cost.

The African academic community and international organizations have recognized this and are promoting the creation of networks both at the national and regional levels. Progress in establishing these networks is underway in various regions of the continent, but not in West and Central Africa. Evidence in some countries has shown that affordable access to bandwidth in general and fibre infrastructure in particular cannot be achieved without the active involvement of policy- and decision-makers at the highest level, who are in a position to create a conducive regulatory environment.

This grant will support the advocates of affordable access in their efforts to sensitize high-level policy- and decision-makers to the necessity of providing African institutes of higher education with affordable bandwidth by providing them with a strong evidence base, international benchmarks and best practices from other parts of the world.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Monday, November 26, 2007

End Date

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


18 months

IDRC Officer

Camara, Alioune

Total funding

CA$ 455,725


North of Sahara, South of Sahara

Project Leader

Boubacar Barry


Association of African Universities

Institution Country


Institution Website