Liberia's Finance Minister; Amara S. Konneh has challenged the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications and the Liberia Telecommunication Corporation (LIBTELCO) to connect Monrovia, (Capital City of Liberia) through wireless internet connectivity.
He said he is optimistic that Monrovia can become the first wireless city in the Mano River Union Basin.
Speaking on behalf of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf at the turning-on of the Fiber Optic broadband, Minister Konneh pointed out that the fast internet in Liberia will significantly improved the education, health, communication and increase productivity in the business sector.
The Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) otherwise known as the fiber optic cable is a fast internet submarine cable which connects Liberia to the rest of the world. It is a US$25m project undertaken by the Government of Liberia in collaboration with the Cable Consortium of Liberia.
Min. Konneh further that 'Liberia will use ACE cable to market the country, diversified the economy, connect hospitals, high schools and universities'. He added that the investment is not going to waste, but rather built the country.
According to Min. Konneh "the modern technology will also connect small business, hotels government ministries and agencies as well as the media". He said the MoF will be the first government entity to connect to the fiber optic as a means of digitalizing the financial system of the country.
The launching of fiber optic is expected to improve the quality of internet and telecommunications in Liberia thus opening new corridors for economic growth and development in the country.
It will also enhance development in post war Liberia through affordable, superior and unhindered access to news and information; create new business and career opportunities for Liberians as well as greater access to global markets for Liberian goods and services.
For his part, the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Dr. Frederick B. Norkeh said connecting Liberia to the fiber Optic cable has been the desire of the government for the past seven years.
He added that access to fiber will address poor internet connectivity and significantly reduce cost and open new opportunities for the society.
Minister Norkeh used the occasion to thank actors in the sector for the level of work performed in making the technology a reality in Liberia.
Also speaking at the program, the Managing Director of LIBTELCO, Mr. Ben Wolo said the fiber optic is a major milestone for the country.
He added that the full implementation of broadband services to Liberia will rest upon the completion of the metro-Monrovia fiber optic backbone. At completion, this ring will loop the entire Monrovia and its environs.
This fiber network will also offshoot to Brewerville, Fendell, RIA and Firestone.
In keeping with LIBTELCO's mandate to provide telecommunication services to all parts of Liberia and the Government of Liberia policy of providing Universal Access to all Liberians, the high speed broadband connectivity will be extended to other parts of the country gradually.
ACE submarine cable spanned more than 17,000 kilometers along the West Coast of Africa connecting 25 countries including Liberia.
Cable Consortium Liberia is a Public Private Venture formed under a Special Purpose Vehicle to manage the ACE cable landing in Liberia.
This project, $25 million dollars in investment, was initiated by LIBTELCO and facilitated by the Government of Liberia. The current shareholders are LIBTELCO 20%; Cellcom and Lonestar 10% each, while the Government of Liberia (GoL) holds the remaining 60% that will eventually be divested.