USTDA Advances Cross-Continental Internet Access in Africa

Arlington, VA – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency signed a grant agreement with pan-African technology company, CSquared Link Holdings (Mauritius) Ltd (CSquared) for a feasibility study to help hundreds of thousands of Africans gain access to affordable broadband for the first time through the development of an open-access cross-continental fiber optic backbone. U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, witnessed USTDA’s grant signing ceremony at the 2024 American Chamber of Commerce Business Summit in Nairobi, Kenya.

“USTDA is partnering with CSquared to develop Africa’s first open-access trans-continental digital infrastructure, which will empower inland African communities by connecting them to the digital economy,” said Enoh T. Ebong, USTDA’s Director. “The grant also stands as a testament to USTDA’s proactive role in advancing the Biden-Harris Administration’s Digital Transformation with Africa initiative while creating new opportunities for U.S. solutions to address African digital priorities.”

The USTDA-funded study will include an assessment of potential fiber backbone routes through the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. The study will also assess expanding fiber network infrastructure along the backbone and extending last-mile connections to towers, businesses and homes. The project will help expand affordable, high-capacity broadband to inland African communities.

“For the continent’s development as a whole, it is essential to bridge the digital divide. CSquared has a vision to digitally connect Africa and make connectivity more accessible and more affordable,” said CSquared Group Chief Financial Officer Eddie Irungu. “USTDA has been proactively instrumental in providing this feasibility study grant. The project is to build a cross-continental open-access backbone highway, with metro and last mile networks subsequently built along the way. This is very promising as it would be the first of its kind to provide landlocked areas with open access to affordable connectivity to subsea cables on both sides of the continent.”

“Digital access is transforming the economic landscape in Kenya and across Africa by opening new opportunities for businesses, workers and entrepreneurs. We are excited to partner with Kenya to provide affordable and accessible internet to more communities,” said U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman.

U.S. businesses interested in submitting proposals for the USTDA-funded feasibility study should visit

USTDA’s assistance advances Biden-Harris Administration priorities, including the Digital Transformation with Africa initiative for expanded access to an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet; Prosper Africa; and the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment. USTDA’s programming also follows through on commitments made at the December 2022 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.


The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority infrastructure projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project preparation and partnership building activities that develop sustainable infrastructure and foster economic growth in partner countries.