Work on cable link to begin next month

19 May 2006

The Kenyan government is ready to begin work on a KES4.2 billion international undersea cable as a larger cable system is still languishing in the planning stage three years after it was first announced. The new cable will connect Kenya with Djibouti, opening up wider connections to Europe, Asia and other parts of Africa. Kenya had signed up as part of the 9,900km Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy) but says it will not wait any longer for work to begin. It expects work on its own link to start next month, with the cable operational by mid-2007. Local newspaper The Nation reports that the Kenyan government will not be investing public money in the project, quoting Information and Communication permanent secretary Bitange Ndemo, who said: “We are not going to use a single cent from the Treasury. The role of government will only be to provide an enabling environment for investment in the fibre-optic cable.”