Facebook, through its investments in connectivity and infrastructure across sub-Saharan Africa, plans to make $57 billion worth of impact in the African economy over the next five years. This is was contained in a study on the Impact of Facebook’s Connectivity Initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The study, conducted by global consulting and research firm, Analysys Mason highlights how Facebook investments in infrastructure and connectivity across the region will deliver over Economic Benefits between 2020 and 2024.
With over 800 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa unconnected to the internet, it is only fitting that most of this investment is in internet connection and infrastructure. This perspective was reiterated by Facebook’s Africa Public Policy Director, Kojo Boakye who said the tech giant aims to affordably connect people in Africa while creating tangible social-economic benefits.
These efforts are part of a complex solution that requires all stakeholders – including mobile operators, infrastructure providers and governments – to work together for the common good. We are only 1% finished and remain committed to this exciting journey and working with all our partners along the way
The areas of focus for Facebook’s connectivity infrastructure project include investing in infrastructure that supports internet connectivity. This includes investment in submarine cables like the 2Africa cable which is one of the largest Subsea cable projects in the world.
The 2Africa will circle the African continent and is expected to triple the capacity currently provided by all the subsea cables serving Africa and support the growth of 4G, 5G and broadband access.
Other areas Facebook intend to impact includes supporting mobile operators through facilitation initiatives, deployment of Express Wi-Fi solutions across sub-Saharan Africa to enable local ISPs and operators to establish low-cost access networks and continued rural access partnerships.
Others include the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) which helps in implementation of new and more cost-effective technological solutions, improving Edge Networks for ISP’s and MNO’s and Backhaul Fibre Investments.
According to the study, the economic benefits of these projects include the enhancement of operators’ ability to extend the coverage of broad networks, thus enabling more people to go online. These increases in take-up and internet traffic mean that people are more able to interact with each other, trade online and perform online transactions.
All these activities create benefits for individuals and wider economic and social benefits through improved health and welfare outcomes, skills and education, job creation and productivity