The government of Cabo Verde says it has finished the first phase of a Chinese-backed project to give over 300 central and local government facilities faster internet speeds, Lusa reports.

The Portuguese news agency quotes a written official statement by Cabo Verde’s Núcleo Operacional da Sociedade de Informação (NOSi) as saying the project includes setting up 44 WebLabs in schools and health centres throughout the archipelago.

The project includes laying 16 kilometres of fibre-optic cable and giving towns free Wi-Fi hotspots for public use, Lusa says.

The report quotes NOSi as saying the Chinese firm in charge of the project has begun setting up and switching on the new facilities last month.

Last year a Cabo Verdean newspaper, Expresso das Ilhas, reported that China is covering the US$5 million cost of the project.