Alcatel-Lucent wins Burkina Faso cloud public service deal

Alcatel Lucent is to help Burkina Faso to be the first West African nation to use the cloud to connect its public and private sectors.

The telecoms equipment vendor will supply the West African nation with its NFV (Network Functions Virtualisation), Cloudband and IP platforms to run cloud services such as e-government, e-learning and e-health as part of a G-Cloud infrastructure. The services will be built on virtualised network resources from cloud nodes in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital, and five provinces.

The cloud will connect 400 buildings in 13 regional urban centres through a 513Km fibre-optic IP/MPLS wide area network. Backhaul will be provided by an 800 km fibre-optic transmission system as part of Burkina Faso’s new National Fibre Optics Backbone. Alcatel-Lucent will link data centres across the nation with its 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS), supporting a mixture of 10 Gbps, 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps channels.

The project is part of a national Digital Development strategy to connect public departments and municipalities via an e-government platform to support an anticipated increase in future demand for digital services to the health, education, justice, immigration and governmental services. Alcatel-Lucent will manage the network and infrastructure installation in a project due to be completed by 2017. Alcatel-Lucent will also train 100 government employees.

The €30 million project is being funded by the Danish government through the Danida Business Finance agency.

“This project will have many positive impacts for Burkina Faso,” said Nébila Amadou Yaro, Burkina Faso’s Minister of Development of the Digital Economy.

Cloud technology can help the cause of ‘poverty alleviation’ and promote good governance, according to Bo Jensen, the Danish Ambassador to Burkina Faso. “This project will support the government decentralisation process, promote the deconcentration of public services and lead to more transparency and improved public financial management,” said Jensen.

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