Home | News    Thursday 31 August 2006

African countries shun fibre-optic cable deal


Aug 30, 2006 (KIGALI) — Plans by African countries jointly to construct an undersea telecommunications cable suffered a setback on Tuesday when less than one third of the participants signed an agreement to oversee the running of the system.

Only seven out of 23 countries signed the accord for the long-delayed East African Submarine System (EASSy), which aims to slash phone and Internet costs.

Analysts say delays in implementing the project were a major concern because Africa’s expensive and unreliable telecommunication services were a major hindrance to investment.

The project has been held back by squabbles mainly between Kenya and South Africa over financing, ownership and about how much access to the fibre optic cable would cost.

Kenya had accused South Africa of trying to dominate the project and for pushing the idea of governments managing the 9,900 km (6,152 mile) cable that will link the port cities of Durban and Port Sudan. South Africa denies the claims.

At a two-day meeting in Rwanda’s capital Kigali, Kenya and other countries said they had not been given enough time to study the protocol.

"There could have been certain areas within the protocol that were not pleasing to some members," Ivy Matsepe Casaburri, South Africa’s minister for communication, told Reuters.

"However, we will move ahead with this initiative as we convince our brothers to come aboard," she added.

Only Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda signed the protocol in Kigali.

The permanent secretary in Kenya’s Ministry of Communication, Bitange Ndemo, said the project organisers had rushed parties to sign the agreement without addressing their concerns.

"There are a lot of issues that had not been sorted out," Ndemo told Reuters in Nairobi. "We are not refusing EASSy per se, but we oppose some of the contents (of the protocol)."

Telecom operators, who will manage the system, signed a construction and maintenance agreement in July, raising hopes that construction would start in August.

Ministers meeting in Kigali on Tuesday extended the deadline for signing the accord by three months to gain backing from more countries.

"This is not a setback," said Thomas Thabane, Lesotho’s minister of communications. "It is a mere challenge for us to convince others to come aboard."

The EASSy cable was originally expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2008. The project is expected to cut Internet costs to nearly one third of current levels over the next five years and boost investment in Africa.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

Sudan’s legitimate request for UN assistance: the opponents their interior motives? (2-3) 2020-06-05 12:29:45 By: Trayo A. Ali To expose and preempt the plot these opposing forces to the UN are hatching, the tricks and tactics using, the ploys they are crafting and ulterior motives they harbour and the (...)

We neither Forget nor Forgive the 3 June 2019 Massacre 2020-06-04 06:41:26 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman Today Wednesday, June 3rd 2020 comes as the great epic of redemption at the dawn of the third of June 2019, whose memory will remain immortal in the history book, (...)

The untold crisis of health system in South Sudan 2020-06-03 06:49:09 by Dr Jok Gang The South Sudanese war began in 1955 at the time when people of the region began to feel a lack of representation in the government and therefore the absence of the crucial (...)


Latest Press Releases

S. Korea supports UN communities building resilience project in Sudan’s Blue Nile 2019-09-09 09:26:41 UNDP Sudan September 5, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - An agreement was signed on 5th of September between the Korean Ambassador, His Excellency. Lee Ki-Seong and Dr. Selva Ramachandran, Resident (...)

Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders back calls for civil rule 2019-04-26 10:22:06 Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum -24/04/2019 We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, (...)

South Sudan’s Lafon youth condemn killings of civilians by Pari community 2019-04-03 21:54:29 Press Statement on the Fighting between Pari/ Pacidi and Lotuko/Lokiri on 24/3/2019 Release by The Lafon County Youth Union: We, the Lafon County Youth Union hereby condemn the atrocities and (...)


Copyright © 2003-2020 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.