Huawei, Sierra Leone Deepen Partnership; Exim Bank to Fund Phase 2 of National Fiber Optic Backbone Project

On September 2, Sierra Leone Cable Network signed a $30 million loan agreement with the Export-Import Bank of China to finance the construction by Huawei of the second phase of its national fiber-optic backbone project.  Once complete, the project will allow for telecommunications operators to offer 3G and 4G services.  The first phase of the fiber optic backbone project was also implemented by Huawei, reportedly as part of a broader scheme supported by the World Bank and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to expand digital access throughout the region.  Huawei and Sierra Leone have a history of working together, including an MoU from September 2018 creating a strategic partnership in the field of information and communication technology (ICT) industry in general.  Shortly before the signing of the MoU, President Boh visited Huawei’s Beijing offices, where he met with Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Huawei Li Jie.