MANILA, PHILIPPINES (2 May 2018) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today signed agreements to help deliver high-speed internet to Kiribati and Nauru through a submarine cable project. The agreements were signed by ADB Vice-President Mr. Stephen Groff, Finance and Economic Development Minister of Kiribati Mr. Teuea Toatu, and Finance Minister of Nauru Mr. David Adeang ahead of ADB’s 51st Annual Meeting in Manila, Philippines.
“The cable projects will boost the connectivity of these Pacific countries to the rest of the world,” said Mr. Groff. “Faster and more affordable internet will improve peoples’ access to economic and social development opportunities.”
ADB is providing a $21.6 million grant for Kiribati and a $15 million grant for Nauru to help fund the delivery of internet services in Tarawa and Kiritimati Island in Kiribati and Nauru through the installation of submarine cables. The cables will provide faster and better internet quality than satellite dishes, reducing costs for businesses, governments, and households. The initiative is partly cofinanced by the World Bank.
Supporting inclusive growth and investment in information and communications technology are key focus areas of ADB’s Pacific Approach, which guides ADB’s operational focus in the subregion.
ADB has been working with Kiribati since 1974, with commitments of loans and grants totaling $72.9 million, and technical assistance projects reaching $22.0 million. It has been providing support to Nauru since 1991, and has committed a loan of $5 million, grants totaling $20.3 million, and technical assistance projects totaling $7.0 million.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.