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BRICS cable by 2014

An undersea broadband cable will, by 2014, connect Africa to SA's BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India and China) partners.

This was announced by communications minister Dina Pule, at the inaugural ICT Indaba, in Cape Town, yesterday.

She added that this is one of five undersea cables that are planned for the continent by 2014.

Pule explained that these cables became possible through various regional ICT agreements on the continent, which has put Africa on course to overcoming the challenges of connecting all cities, towns and villages.

“These agreements have created public-private partnerships that are designed to harmonise the regulatory and legislative environment in the continent to position it to fight cyber crime and to foster socio-economic advancement and development. These efforts have resulted in the partnerships between the public and private sector that have delivered undersea cables.”

Africa is currently connected to Europe, North America and Asia through nine undersea cables. The West Africa Cable System, launched in May 2012, represents the first connection to an undersea cable for Namibia, Togo, Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Pule said all of these cable connections should help improve the connection to new trade partners, reduce the cost to communicate and improve the quality of the Internet services. They also make it possible to deliver more progressive online services.

Policy harmonisation

She also said deliberations at the indaba have to lay the foundation for the harmonisation of continental policies, such that these cable connections can create thousands of jobs and enable millions of people across the continent to communicate at cheaper rates.

“Working together, we can place the citizens of the developing nations at the centre of the knowledge and digital economy superhighway.

“The recent demise of the theology of market fundamentalism is making the continent shift from bipolarity to multipolarity in international alignments in its search for an alternative transformative and developmental economic model that will advance sustainable progress in Africa.”

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