The African Development Bank (AfDB) will provide Senegal with an additional loan of €5.01 million to continue the construction of a 25-hectare infrastructure project that is almost 80 percent complete.
On December 8, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (ADB) “gave the green light for the granting of additional funding for the future Digital Technology Park of Diamniadio, Senegal,” a statement sent to APA said.
With this new loan, the financial institution “endorses, up to 87 percent, the total cost of the project (€73.62 million), the Senegalese government assuming the equivalent of €9.64 million, the statement added.
The construction of the Diamniadio Digital Technology Park, on the outskirts of Dakar, began in 2016 with an initial loan of €60.96 million from the AfDB.
But the construction has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic which resulted in global inflation on the costs of construction materials and disruption to supply chains.
According to Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, the AfDB’s Director General for West Africa, “this park will help diversify and modernize the Senegalese economy and private sector”.
It will transform Senegal into a regional digital hub to introduce digital solutions to alreadỳ existing industries.
Senegal’s goal is to increase the ICT sector’s share of its economic activitý from 7 to 10 percent by 2026.
Already, “some twenty companies have expressed interest in anchoring some of their activities within the future park. However, the condition is that they must have a solid IT infrastructure that allows them to offer their products and provide their services,” the African Development Bank explained.
The purpose of the new loan will be to equip the data center planned within the park with a state-of-the-art storage and processing architecture.
In addition, the Diamniadio Digital Technology Park, at the heart of Senegal’s 2025 digital strategy, which aims to create some 35,000 direct jobs, will include business process outsourcing facilities, an ICT business incubator, a training center, a research center, and an audiovisual production and content development center.
Cherfi Mohammed, who heads the AfDB’s country office in Senegal, noted that “the project will benefit an entire ecosystem: communication service operators, Internet service providers, multinationals, about 30,000 men and women who work in sales, networking, systems design, software and content development, among other things.”