August 2, 2007 By News Staff
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will invest in the
East African Submarine Cable System, a landmark fiber-optic cable project that
will connect 21 African countries to each other and the rest of the world with
high-quality Internet and international communications services. The cable will
transform the telecommunications landscape in the region as it improves access
for 250 million Africans and substantially reduces costs for consumers and
businesses. Construction is expected to begin in the next few weeks, with the
EASSy cable fully operational by the beginning of 2009.
Consumers along the east coast of
The cable will run 10,000 kilometers from the continent's
southern tip to the African horn, connecting
To expand the benefits of the new cable and stimulate traffic, IFC is coordinating its efforts with the World Bank, which is financing a complementary system of terrestrial backhaul and backbone networks through the Regional Communications Infrastructure Program.
"The EASSy cable will complete Africa's integration into the global communications network, with significant development impact for the people of
Capping years of collaboration between the World Bank Group and other global and regional development institutions, governments, and the region's private sector, the project establishes an innovative public-private partnership to expand access to communications. It addresses a major gap in the global communications infrastructure and is expected to have a profound impact on the region's economic integration and cooperation. The fiber-optic cable will also improve the quality of service.
"Despite the recent growth in connectivity in