Botswana’s President Festus Mogae has asked his Namibian counterpart Hifikepunye Pohamba to participate in an international submarine cable network project aimed at improving regional capacity and the reliability of international telecoms systems, reports allAfrica.com. Mogae is relying on Namibia and Angola to join the project so that landlocked Botswana can benefit from cable landing stations deployed on its neighbour’s South Atlantic coastlines. With the closing date for acceptance of new members set for next month, Botswana is still in negotiations with Angola; the minimum required investment for each country is USD10 million.
Botswana is already participating in projects to improve international connectivity through undersea fibre-optic cables on the east and west coasts of Africa. The country has completed feasibility studies for the East African Cable System (EASSy) whilst a similar study for the West African Festoon System (WAFS) is in progress. In the meantime, it continues to seek transit routes through neighbouring countries to link the country to the sea, hence the plea to Namibia.