Central African Backbone

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Fibre optic cables being dug into the ground in Ouesso in Northern Congo in 2015.

The Central African Backbone (CAB) is a fiber-optic Internet backbone being developed to connect the countries of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in Africa via high speed internet. The countries included in the CAB project are: Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Republic of the Congo and São Tomé and Príncipe. It's split up into five phases, each phase focusing on the fibre rollout in one or more countries.

List of CAB phases[edit]

Phase Reference Countries Approval Date Closing Date Status Total Project Cost
Phase 1[1] APL1A  Cameroon  Central African Republic  Chad 24 September 2009 15 March 2016 Finished $26,730,000 USD
Phase 2[2] APL2  São Tomé and Príncipe 20 January 2011 31 December 2014 Finished $14,900,000 USD
Phase 3[3] APL3  Republic of the Congo 25 May 2011 29 June 2018 Under construction $30,000,000 USD
Phase 4[4] APL4  Gabon 28 March 2012 30 June 2018 Under construction $109,000,000 USD
Phase 5[5] SOP5  Democratic Republic of the Congo 16 July 2014 31 December 2019 Under construction $92,100,000 USD


The project is funded by a loan from the World Bank, initially estimated at $160 million USD.[6] As of 2015, total World Bank funding for the project is at $206 million USD, and the total project cost, including financing from other sources than the World Bank, is estimated at $273 million USD.[1][2][3][4][5]

The entire project is scheduled to be completed by 31 December 2019, when the network in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will be operational, as the last of the five phases.[5]

CAB in Cameroon[edit]

In Cameroon the CAB runs from the coast, through the capital of Yaoundé, to the north east where it meets up with the Chadian part of the backbone.[7]

CAB in Central African Republic[edit]

The deployment of the CAB in the Central African Republic was slowed down by the political instability in 2012-2013.[8] It runs from Chad in the north to the capital of Bangui.[7]

CAB in Chad[edit]

In Chad the CAB runs from N'Djamena towards the south where it forks off in two directions, one towards Cameroon and one towards the Central African Republic.[7]

CAB in Democratic Republic of the Congo[edit]

In Democratic Republic of the Congo the CAB will run from Kinshasa to Lubumbashi and Kisangani.[9]

CAB in Gabon[edit]

In Gabon the CAB runs from Libreville to Franceville, and from thereon it splits in two directions, one towards Lékoni and another towards Koulamoutou.[10]

CAB in Republic of the Congo[edit]

In Republic of the Congo the CAB runs from the port city of Pointe-Noire to Brazzaville, and from thereon north to Ouesso.[11]

CAB in São Tomé and Príncipe[edit]

In São Tomé and Príncipe the CAB runs in the capital of São Tomé[12]

International terrestrial fibre interconnection[edit]

The CAB crosses several international borders, including a Cameroon-Chad interconnection,[13] a Chad-CAR interconnection,[7] a Congo-DRC interconnection between Brazzaville and Kinshasa,[14] as well as a Congo-Gabon interconnection between running from Dolisie along the Congo–Ocean Railway, and through Mont-Mbelo, Makabana, Mossendjo and Mbinda, before crossing over into Gabon.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b http://www.worldbank.org/projects/P108368/central-african-backbone-apl1a?lang=en | Retrieved on 26 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b http://www.worldbank.org/projects/P117652/central-african-backbone-apl2?lang=en | Retrieved on 26 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b http://www.worldbank.org/projects/P122398/central-african-backbone-apl3-republic-congo?lang=en | Retrieved on 26 April 2015.
  4. ^ a b http://www.worldbank.org/projects/P122776/central-african-backbone-apl4-gabon?lang=en | Retrieved on 26 April 2015.
  5. ^ a b c http://www.worldbank.org/projects/P132821?lang=en | Retrieved on 26 April 2015.
  6. ^ http://go.worldbank.org/MPTI3O2IS0 | Retrieved on 26 April 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d http://www.itu.int/itu-d/tnd-map-public/ | Retrieved on 28 April 2015.
  8. ^ http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/SDN/2013/03/23/090224b081a12700/1_0/Rendered/PDF/Africa000Centr0Report000Sequence007.pdf | Retrieved on 28 April 2015.
  9. ^ http://www.agenceecofin.com/infrastructures/2403-27572-kinshasa-lubumbashi-et-kisangani-bientot-connectees-et-interconnectees-par-fibre-optique | Retrieved on 28 April 2015.
  10. ^ http://gabonreview.com/blog/projet-fibre-optique-backbone-1100-km/ | Retrieved on 28 April 2015.
  11. ^ http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Regulatory-Market/Documents/Brazzavile/Session9%20-1%20Luc%20Missidimbazi%20%282%29.pdf | Retrieved on 28 April 2015.
  12. ^ http://www.stpdigital.net/sociedade/688-sao-tome-entrou-na-era-do-cabo-de-fibra-optica.html | Retrieved on 28 April 2015.
  13. ^ http://www.journalducameroun.com/article.php?aid=10937 | Retrieved on 28 April 2015.
  14. ^ http://www.digitalcongo.net/article/86452 | Retrieved on 28 April 2015.
  15. ^ http://www.agenceecofin.com/infrastructures/1512-25129-huawei-va-interconnecter-le-congo-au-gabon-par-fibre-optique-pour-12-milliards-de-fcfa | Retrieved on 28 April 2015.