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The coverage of rural areas is a challenge for operators, regulators and governments around the world - constrained by the lack of infrastructure (roads and electricity) and low foreseen profitability due to high costs, low scalability and limited affordability. The situation is even more complex in Africa for geographical, security and business model reasons.
The purpose of this paper is to present the conclusions of five recent EIB workshops on unlocking connectivity in Africa. Held in June 2021, these workshops brought together operators, energy providers, vendors, local governments and international organisations to find operational and financing solutions to bridge the digital connectivity gap in Africa. A key objective was to find the virtuous circle of collaboration between industry partners to set concrete connectivity solutions for underserved communities, supported by EIB financing.