The government of Liberia, in partnership with the national regulator the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA), last Friday launched the West Africa Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (WARCIP) in the country. According to LTA chairwoman Angelique Weeks, the scheme has been made possible through a USD25.6 million loan from the World Bank. Of the total, some USD20 million will be used for the Africa to Europe (ACE) cable consortium. Led by France Telecom (FT), ACE is designed to connect 23 countries along the African west coast, linking France to South Africa via 17,000km of fibre-optic submarine cable.
Ms Weeks says her country cannot afford to be left behind in the modern technolgoy stakes and noted that domestic cellcos MTN Liberia (formerly Lonestar Communicatiions) and Cellcom GSM have each paid USD2.5 million to acquire 10% stakes in the ACE consortium. Liberia Telecommunications Company (Libtelco) also owns a 20% stake in the venture, while the Liberian government owns the remaining 60%.