Africa’s Undersea Fiber Projects: Will They Materialize?

underseacables

There are four major fiber cable projects under construction targeting Eastern and Southern Africa:

  • EASSy (The East African Submarine Cable System) a 9,900 km undersea cable to stretch from South Africa all the way to Sudan.
  • TEAMS (The East African Marine System) to run from Fujairah in the UAE to Mombasa in Kenya.
  • RELIANCE (The Kenya Data Network Cable) to provide a link between Yemen, Mombasa and later South Africa,
  • SEACOM marine cable system to provide connectivity between South Africa, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, India and Europe.

The multiplicity of Africa’s fiber cable projects has raised the hopes of many, including myself, that the ubiquity of high capacity, low cost internet bandwidth will bolster ICT-for-development initiatives in the continent.

So now the question is whether these projects will actually materialize; and if so, in what time frame?

An AfricaNext Investment Research report suggests that there are “too many” cable projects in progress, that at least 4 out of 10 of which probably won’t materialize due to a lack of adequate secured funding in these difficult economic times,  major Service Provider and/or Government support.

Unfortunately, the political wrangling and posturing plaguing some of the projects, for instance EASSy, is well documented (Google’s O3B v. EASSy v. NEPAD).

TEAMS is expected to be completed first, within the first quarter of 2009. According to the President of SEACOM, Brian Herlihy, the project is slated for completion on June 17th, 2009. EASSy if projected for mid-2010. Will they stay on schedule?

24: Redemption, in South Africa

There are a few films and shows that, to me, are worth watching. The Godfather is one, the Bourne trilogy is another and then there’s 24.

Naturally I was a bit distraught last year, the aficionado that I am, with the Writer’s strike occurring right about the time Season 7 was about to premier. So the inevitable happened and the Season was postponed to commence on January 11, 2009.

Redemption

Not one to disappoint, Fox announced a two-hour film shot in June and to run in late November to serve as a preamble to the next Season. I think they also did it to make peace with some unhappy campers 🙂 . The locations featured are in Los Angeles, CA and a fictional African nation, Sangala. The latter was actually shot in Cape Town, South Africa at the Okavango School.

This does make for good entertainment. I’ll refrain from giving away the storyline, only to say it serves mostly as a way to put things back in context for viewers of previous seasons (after such a long hiatus) and also to amp the hype for the premier, which I think it does well.

Watch 24: Redemption on (the really cool) Hulu. If you’re not in the US, see how you can use a proxy server to view current US TV shows and movies from Hulu. Enjoy!

Update:

Unfortunately, 24:Redemption is now expired on Hulu, but you can probably download the torrent from Pirate Bay. Yar!