Given the growing requirement for fibre across Africa and the problem some African countries have with copper theft, it may perhaps be a surprise to learn that a fibre optic cable manufacturing factory recently inaugurated in Ogun State, in Nigeria’s South-West region, is West Africa’s first and only the fifth in the entire continent.
The factory was built by local company Coleman Technical Industries Limited, a manufacturer of quality electrical and telecommunications wires and cables, in collaboration with an American firm, Fibre Business EMEA.
The partners say the new development is expected to boost innovation and the development of Nigeria’s digital economy infrastructure.
According to the Business AM website, George Onafowokan, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Coleman Technical Industries Limited, said the project was a response to the Federal Government’s call for rapid development of digitalisation penetration in Nigeria and the drive for local content development.
He added that the company is on an ambitious drive to become the biggest fibre optic cable factory in Africa by September 2023 with further capacity to be added, eventually serving not just Nigeria but West Africa, Central Africa and 50% of the entire African continent.
It’s not just Onafowokan who sees this as an important development; the factory’s inauguration was attended by the minister for trade and investment, the Ogun State governor, and the US Ambassador to Nigeria – represented by Commercial Attache David Russell.
High hopes were expressed for the new development, including roles in conserving foreign exchange, promoting tech transfer, generating employment and alleviating poverty.