CONAKRY (Reuters) – Chinese technology firm Huawei will roll out 4,000 km of fibre optic cable in Guinea over the next two years to offer high-speed Internet access to most of the West African nation’s people, the Guinean presidency said in a statement on Friday.

Work on the $238 million project will begin this weekend and is due to be concluded by 2017, the statement said, adding that Guinea would become the first country in West Africa to benefit from such extensive coverage.

Africa’s largest exporter of bauxite, Guinea has seen its $6 billion economy hit by a fall in commodities prices and the worst Ebola epidemic on record, which has killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa.

President Alpha Conde is running for a second term in elections due in October.