Watch Out World: Africa is Getting Connected
For the last two decades it seems as though Africa has been something of a bystander in the digital revolution.
While Internet users in America, Asia and Europe can access rich media content at increasingly blistering speeds, in most of the African continent you would be considered lucky to establish the equivalent of an old-fashioned dial-up connection. The picture is changing, though.
July 23 this year marked a turning point for African Internet connectivity with the inauguration of the first high-speed fiber optic cable connection between the continent and the rest of the world, installed by operator SEACOM with help from Cisco.
“With new Web applications and uses being discovered daily, the potential economic benefits of affordable bandwidth are endless.”
— Sir George Kahama, Chairman of the board of directors, SEACOM Tanzania
The 1.28 Tb/s submarine links Tanzania to Mumbai and will not only help digital information flow into Africa, but perhaps more importantly will help it get out, too, by providing much-needed backhaul capacity for the satellite, mobile and wireless networks already in place.
To coincide with the opening of the world’s premier forum for debate on connectivity worldwide, ITU Telecom World 2009 in Geneva, News@Cisco spoke to one of the prime movers behind the cable, Chairman of the board of directors at SEACOM Tanzania George Kahama.
In a Q&A published today, former statesman Sir George, as he popularly known in Tanzania, talks about how the arrival of improved connectivity could affect the lives of millions of Africans—and finally help bring Africa fully into the digital age.
Blog entry by Jason Deign, News@Cisco