Today at the Global Gateway Forum, the European Investment Bank signed the €40 million investment grant provided by the European Commission with GÉANT, coordinator of the European National Research and Education Network and AFR-IX, who will be executing the infrastructure project to bolster digital connectivity between North Africa and the European Union through the €342 “MEDUSA” Submarine Cable Project.
This is an additional important step in the concrete implementation of this project, following the announcement of cooperation in November 2022 (press release), and the recent signing of a Contribution Agreement between the European Commission and the European Investment Bank to provide €40 million from the Neighbourhood Investment Platform to this high-speed digital connection initiative.
These agreements, which are a deliverable of the Economic and Investment Plan for the Southern Neighbours, are also a tangible expression of Europe’s Global Gateway strategy to boost smart, clean and secure digitalisation, while enhancing prosperity and security within and beyond Europe. The fibre optic cable will provide high quality connectivity capacity, via submarine cable and direct terrestrial links to universities and education and research centres in North Africa Countries. Furthermore, “MEDUSA” will foster ties with EU peer organisations and enhance scientific knowledge exchange, hence boosting innovation, research and job creation in the region.
The signing parties reiterated their dedication to the successful completion of the project, emphasising its potential to transform the digital landscape of the Mediterranean region, while achieving broader regional integration and development goals.
President of the EIB, Werner Hoyer said: “The Medusa Submarine Cable Project is not just a technological advancement; it represents a bridge of cooperation and shared vision between North Africa and the EU. By improving digital access, the project aims to foster economic growth, innovation, and collaboration across borders as well as creating opportunities for all. I am proud that EIB, as the EU Bank, is contributing to this.”
European Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi said:
“Connectivity is the essence of our Economic and Investment Plans designed to address our partners’ needs. Through the EUR 342 million Medusa Submarine Cable Project, for the first time, we connect the North and the South shores of the Mediterranean Sea. This project is a great example of how we can collaborate to implement impactful, future-proof projects that can connect and provide great opportunities for enhancing the links between about 500 Universities, institutes of education, research centres, and about 4.5 million students. The Medusa project will also boost the region’s economic and social development, attracting further investments.”
This article was first published on 25 October by European Investment Bank.