LIBREVILLE, October 1 – On September 25, 2015, the Republic of Gabon and the World Bank started preparations for a new $56 million eGabon project, which will leverage information and communications technology (ICT) to promote the country’s socioeconomic development.
The eGabon project, will be implemented with the Ministry of Health, ANINF (Agence Nationale des Infrastructures Numériques et des Fréquences), and CNAMGS (Caisse Nationale d'Assurance Maladie et de Garantie Sociale). It aims at improving the performance of the National Health Information System (SNIS) by strengthening its human and financial resources and upgrading health facility equipment and infrastructure.
Elisabeth Huybens, World Bank Country Director for Gabon, stated that “this project will help strengthen the epidemiological surveillance mechanism by using information and communications technologies (ICTs) to compile the data required and to disseminate, on an ongoing basis, early warning and response information. In a broader sense, it will accelerate the development of eHealth, defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the use of digital services to promote the wellbeing of individuals in both the public and private sector spheres.”
The project will also be implemented with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Postal Services, in close collaboration with the private sector in order to develop and organize an innovative digital ecosystem in Gabon. The establishment of a specialized ICT incubator site in Libreville will create an attractive infrastructure and support environment for entrepreneurs who would like to take advantage of the new opportunities facilitated by digital solutions in all the key sectors of the economy, and in particular in the eHealth Sector. The digital economic sector in Gabon does indeed offer great potential for entrepreneurial activity and enterprise creation.
In addition, diversification efforts targeting the digital economy in Gabon are receiving international recognition, as demonstrated very recently by the “ICTs in Sustainable Development” award from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) at a ceremony organized at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the ITU.
The eGabon project falls within the context of the Central African Backbone (CAB4) project, which is in progress and is aimed at expanding the geographic coverage of high-capacity bandwidth networks and lowering the cost of communications services throughout Gabon. The CAB4 project facilitated financing of the introduction of the new ACE (Africa Coast to Europe) submarine cable and the construction of more than 1,000 kilometers of terrestrial fiber optic (Libreville to Franceville section that runs along the Trans-Gabon railway line; the Koulamoutou/Lastourville and Franceville/Bongoville/Lekoni road sections, as well as the Franceville/Moanda and Moanda/Bakumba/Lekoko sections going toward the border and connecting with the Congo fiber optic project).