The internet access point planned by the Napwaci Network Access Point of Western Africa and the Canary Islands society for the island of Tenerife will increase the PIB per capita in West Africa and the Sahara by between 5 and 6% since among other advantages the cost of connecting to the world wide web will be 20% cheaper once the neutral access point is operational.
This is one of the main conclusions drawn by the Napwaci society which has been investigating the impact of setting up the point will have on the economy of Western Africa. The study states that once the Internet centre which will be constructed on a plot of land signed over by Tenerife football club in Geneto is functioning, in 2008, the people of Africa will be able to connect to the Internet more cheaply and the connection will be of a higher quality increasing the possibility of using modern technology to educate and train the local population.
During last week’s press conference the president of Tenerife Cabildo Ricardo Melchior assured that by signing the agreement to permit the construction and use of the internet point the island government would be making a huge contribution to the development of Africa. By simply allowing the point to operate on Canarian soil the authorities are helping to eradicate poverty more than they would be sending material help, commented Melchior.
Tenerife of course also stands to benefit from the installation of the Napwaci point since it has been estimated that the point will generate 149 million euros a year and will create 1,411 jobs although only 552 will be directly related to the centre. The sector which will benefit from the project will undoubtedly be industry followed by the service and the construction sectors.
Furthermore as Melchior pointed out the fact that the Napwaci point is actually situated on the island will mean that the cost of using the internet in the islands should be cheaper although he did not give any concrete figures.
As for the cost of the venture the Terremark company which will manage the centre has estimated that setting up the centre will cost around55 million euros, quoting that 48.2 million euros will be necessary for the purchase of the plot and the construction of centre while a further 6.7 million euros will be needed to equip the centre with the necessary technology.
Melchior explained that 66% of the finance (36 million euros) will come from the EU adding that the rest (18 million) will be provided by the various different associates of the project America, Africa and the Canaries in three equal parts of 6 million euros.
Melchior explained that the Canarian contribution will be coming half from the island authorities and the other half from private companies which have shown an interest in the venture.
The signing over of the land is planned for this month and building licences permitting the construction of the Napwaci point will begin in October 2008.