Skip to main content
International Partnerships

Central Asia Digital Connectivity

The Global Gateway Initiative on Digital Connectivity will enhance Central Asian businesses and citizens' access to a secure, internet through trusted satellite connectivity. 

Objectives

The Digital Connectivity initiative will reduce digital divides in the region and promote inclusive, last-mile digital services. The EU will also integrate Central Asia into programmes and initiatives designed for the EU. This initiative will be the first concrete implementation of the Digital4Development Hub branch for Asia-Pacific.

It's main objectives are to:

  • Promote digital connectivity and the development of the digital economy in Central Asia
  • Tackle the connectivity gap in the region by developing a high-capacity internet network, while increasing access to international bandwidth and establishing a secure connection between Europe and Central Asia
  • Mitigate the digital divide in the region and generate positive side effects for the wider economy

The Team Europe proposal

Financing of a major fibre-optic cable, extending the EU-financed Black Sea cable between the EU (Bulgaria) and Georgia to Central Asia by way of Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea (EIB, EBRD+):

  • Build on the Black Sea Connectivity initiative for the cable route
  • Design of the exact cable route to connect underserved rural areas

Implementation

Internet connectivity

To secure internet via trusted satellite connectivity, earth stations with integrated internet exchange points and green data centres will be positioned across  Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, linking to existing broadband infrastructure.

 

Reducing digital divide

The initiative will reduce digital divides in the region and promote inclusive, last-mile digital services. Secure and reliable end-to-end connectivity for citizens and businesses is expected to have a transformative impact on sectors like industry, health, education, finance and agriculture.

 

Reforming the digital sector

Alongside investments in infrastructure, the EU will promote reforms in digital governance, including in the telecoms sector, personal data protection, cybersecurity, and respect of human rights, bringing the EU's high standards and best practices to the region, in line with the EU's Digital Diplomacy. The EU will also integrate Central Asia into programmes and initiatives designed for the EU. This initiative will also be the first concrete implementation of the Digital4Development Hub branch for Asia-Pacific.

 

Technical assistance

The EU will fund both the technical assistance for governance and infrastructure investment with a contribution of at least €40 million, with the additional participation of Member States and international financing institutions. Technical assistance will support the development of the countries' governance in sectors including telecoms reform, cybersecurity and personal data protection.

Team Europe partners

Estonia
Finland
Latvia

Other partners