FYI. Short form: East Africa to have a fiber-optic cable by June 2009,
other cables to follow. West Africa has had a cable for several years.
I don't know the status of the dozen landlocked countries like Chad,
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Chifu <chifu2222@...
Date: Thu, Jul 3, 2008 at 1:53 PM
Subject: [BDPA-Africa] Nigeria joins Uhurunet, Kenya to decide
Nigeria joins Uhurunet, Kenya to decide BY PAUL VECCHIATTO , ITWEB
CAPE TOWN CORRESPONDENT
ITWeb, 2 July 2008 ] - Nigeria has joined the Uhurunet undersea cable
initiative and Kenya's participation is being finalised, trade and
industry minister Mandisi Mpahlwa said yesterday.
He made the announcement during a media briefing on behalf of the
economic cluster of ministries. This includes, among others, his
department and the Department of Communications (DOC) and the
Department of Public Enterprises (DPE). Mpahlwa also touched on
several other ICT issues.
Mpahlwa could not elaborate on Nigeria's participation in Uhurunet
and the DOC had not responded to queries by the time of publication.
Uhurunet is the DOC-championed project to lay a fibre optic ring
around the African continent and is an outgrowth of the Nepad
Broadband ICT Network. This, in turn, grew out of the original Eassy
(East African Submarine Cable System) initiative from which the DOC
has since decided to divorce itself.
Privately funded Seacom, which is building its own undersea cable on
the east coast, is a totally separate initiative. It is the most far
advanced of all the projects and is scheduled to become operational
in June 2009.
Earlier this year, government indicated Broadband Infraco would be
its undersea cable project of choice and has already allocated R600
million towards it. However, the DOC's Uhurunet initiative was given
a nod of approval, but no actual funding has been allocated to it.
Mpahlwa also stated the DPE's project Broadband Infraco has secured
its manufacturing slots with prospective suppliers, although these
were not divulged. Only two international companies, Tyco and Alcatel
Lucent, are known to have the capacity to manufacture and build a
submarine cable network.
Mpahlwa said the reservation of these slots was to ensure Broadband
Infraco would have its African West Coast Cable ready in time for the
2010 Soccer World Cup.
A source close to Broadband Infraco said the finalisation of the
financing arrangements for the state-owned enterprise had still to be
completed and that the deadlines looked extremely tight.
"Infraco has to secure the manufacturing slots now because of the
limited number of suppliers in the market, and if everything is done
exactly to schedule, then meeting the 2010 deadline is possible," the
Mpahlwa stated that both Uhurunet and Broadband Infraco would be
completed by 2010. He said the publication of the guidelines for the
rapid deployment of electronic communications facilities, and a new
policy covering security and prioritising South African and African
investment in cables had been finalised.
--- End forwarded message ---
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