The Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (BTC) says it is proud to be a part of the Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy) consortium and its contribution through-out the project.
Michel Rouilleat, who spoke on behalf of Sammy Kirui, the Chairman of the Project Management Committee, noted the BTC?s input and involvement. He was speaking during the supply contract signing ceremony held in South Africa last week.
According to a press release, the Alcatel Submarine Networks signing ceremony symbolized the outcome of many years of grueling hard work.
?The realization of this project marked the dawn of a new era for Botswana,? it said, ?an era where technology will bring economic enhancement and development to its people.?
This project is a state of the art submarine cable system linking Southern, Eastern and Northern Africa to global submarine networks. It was initiated four years ago by a handful of Eastern Africa Telecommunications operations. The operators started by examining the viability of a submarine optical fibre cable system that would connect the Eastern Africa Coast, hinterland and landlocked countries to the rest of the world. The initiative was also spurred by the need to bring ICT benefits to the region. According to the statement, this would be achieved by making available high-speed broadband capacity at a relatively cheaper cost than satellite, thus ensuring much needed macro socio-economic development.
Some members of the consortium include, British Telecom, Telecom Mozambique, Zambia Telecoms, TelOne Zimbabwe, Zanzibar Telecom, Sudan Telecommunications, Mauritius Telecom, Saudi Telecom and others.
?Despite different social and economic backgrounds, all parties have overcome internal hurdles and cooperated to form a dynamic partnership that will catapult the region into fibre optic connectivity,? said the statement.
The cable is due to be ready for commercial service towards the end of 2008. However, between now and then, there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure that this project becomes a reality.
The project budget was in the region of USD 235 million, and on February 23, 2007 the parties attained financial closure on the project.
?Over and above the efforts of individual members of the consortium, the project has become a reality due to the assistance of financial institutions such as the African Development Bank, European Investment Bank, Development Bank of South Africa, World Bank-IFC Group and technical experts such as Axiom,? the statement said.