East Africa launches undersea Internet cable


The first undersea internet cable linking East Africa to the rest of the world reached the Kenyan coast on 12 June and is expected to become operational this month. The 5,000km cable stretches from Fujairah in United Arab Emirates, passing through the Indian Ocean to Kenya. The East Africa Marine Systems (TEAMS) fibre optic submarine cable project is a joint venture of the Kenyan government and Emirates Telecommunication Technology (Etisalat) and a consortium of local investors.

It is expected to boost internet connections and greatly reduce the cost of telecommunications, especially data transmission in the region.

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki described the launch on 12 June in Mombasa as an event of “historic proportions”.

Kibaki has ordered the Ministry of Information and Communication to design programmes for the training and development of youth in Kenya.

It was projected to cost US$82m when it was initiated in 2006 as an alternative to the East African Submarine Cable System which the government felt was dominated by South Africa. Alcatel-Lucent won the contract to lay the cable.

Sources: Numerous


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