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NEPAD seeks 60 firms for optic cable project PDF Print E-mail


By David Muwanga
in Pretoria, South Africa

SIXTY private companies are required to join the East African Submarine Cable (EASSy) project if it is to be a successful venture. The project is expected to be operational by 2008.

Each of the 60 firms is expected to contribute $2m (about sh3.6b) as shareholders. But if the number is not raised, partner governments will have to contribute, a top official said on Monday.

The EASSy project involves the laying of an underwater optic fibre cable that will run from Durban, South Africa to Port Sudan in Sudan.

The $300m (about sh531b) project is expected to greatly reduce the cost of international communication for the region.

We want governments to present more companies to participate in the project. We have about 12 firms but we would prefer 60 companies,” Dr. Henry Chasia, the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) deputy executive chief, said.

He added: “Even if for example Uganda has already fronted MTN and uganda telecom, more companies can be supported to join the project.”

Chasia said 90% of the equity fund for the project would be raised from Africa, while the World Bank would provide credit.

He was closing a strategic meeting for Highway Africa News Agency in Pretoria, South Africa.

HANA is a South African-based news agency that brings together African journalists who write about information and communication technologies (ICTs).
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