Alcatel-Lucent is to provide the government of Burkina Faso with cloud networking technology that will enable it to develop new digital public services, such as e-government, e-learning and e-health.
Alcatel-Lucent will supply the West African nation with its NFV (Network Functions Virtualisation), Cloudband and IP platforms, which will be integrated into the ‘G-Cloud’ infrastructure to being built around virtualised network resources from cloud nodes in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital, and five provinces.
Approximately 400 buildings in 13 regional urban centres will be connected through a 513Km fibre-optic IP/MPLS wide area network. Backhaul will be provided by an 800 km fibre-optic transmission system that will become part of Burkina Faso’s National Fibre Optics Backbone.
Alcatel-Lucent and the Ministry of Development of the Digital Economy and Posts as well as the National Agency for the Promotion of ICT (ANPTIC) in Burkina Faso, are celebrating the ‘G-Cloud’ project launching. Their excellencies, Mr. Yacouba Isaac ZIDA, the Prime Minister of Burkina Faso; Dr. Nébila Amadou YARO, the Minister of Digital Economy and Post and Mr. Bo Jensen, the Danish Ambassador to Burkina Faso, were among the local and national dignitaries who attended a ceremony on 12 November in Ouagadougou.
The project is part of an ambitious IT and telecommunications strategy being administered by the country’s Ministry for Digital Development (MDENP – Ministère du Développement de l’Économie Numérique et des Postes), and intends to enable connectivity between public departments and municipalities via an e-government platform – an integral element of Burkina Faso’s Economic and Social Development Strategy, SCADD (Stratégie pour une croissance accéléré et un développement durable).
The network will support the anticipated increase in future demand for digital services to the health, education, justice, immigration, parliament and other sectors in the coming years. Under the agreement with MDENP, Alcatel-Lucent will support network and infrastructure operations to be installed by 2017. Financing for the project is being facilitated by the Danish government through the Danida Business Finance agency, whose contribution to the project amounts to Eur 30 million (19.9 billion FCFA) with a direct grant subsidy of Eur 15.5 million (10 billion FCFA).
– Alcatel-Lucent is integrating its Cloudband Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) platform, with its IP/MPLS platforms.
– Alcatel-Lucent will deploy a high-speed, high-capacity network with links between locations and data centres by using its 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS). The 1830 PSS offers exceptional capacity, performance, agility and intelligence for the transport of very large amounts of data over long distances and can support a mixture of 10G, 40G and 100G channels on the same fiber pair, helping ensure support for future needs as demand grows and offers rapid deployment and necessary flexibility to spur economic development.
– Alcatel-Lucent will ensure a seamless transfer of knowledge by its operational support to the teams of MDENP in order that they can take over the full network operation responsibility by the end of the contract.
– Alcatel-Lucent also will provide a training and development program for more than 100 government employees.
H.E. Mr Nébila Amadou Yaro, Minister, Ministry of Development of the Digital Economy and Posts, said: “The G-Cloud network will allow the distribution of applications and resources at all times, wherever necessary, while providing consolidated cloud and network management. This will allow the system to be operated as a unique virtual environment. This project will have many positive impacts for Burkina Faso, including micro and macro-economic growth, and increasing the efficiency of health and education services.”
Alpin Verlet, Head of Alcatel-Lucent activities in West and Central Africa said: “Alcatel-Lucent is proud and happy to build this project, the first ‘Government Cloud’ in the region, for the Government of Burkina Faso. This project will soon become a very strong exemplary project, showing how a forward thinking government is using the Cloud technology to provide its citizens with access to government’s services.”
Bo Jensen, the Danish Ambassador to Burkina Faso, is excited about the project: “The objectives pursued by the project are in line with the national development strategy and sectoral strategies. It is an innovative approach using state of the art technology to pursue poverty alleviation and good governance. It aims mainly at building up a more efficient and transparent public administration, reducing corruption through online service, contributing to enhancing business climate, thus stimulate economic growth and job creation, among others”. He also added: “We believe that this project will support the government decentralisation process and promote deconcentration of public services. In addition, we strongly believe that this project will lead to more transparency and improved public financial management. It is in line with Danida’s support over many years to the Ministry of Economy and Finance through budget support.”