Capacity Media | Three African operators are planning to uprade a terrestrial fibre link connecting from Port-Sudan on the Red Sea in Sudan to Kribi on the Atlantic Ocean in Cameroon via Chad.
The cable – about 3,500km in length – will be called WE-Africa-NA, standing for West to East Africa Network Access, and it will address the demand for high-speed data connectivity on the continent.
At first it will be formed from individual cables that already exist in Cameroon, Chad and Sudan, with a 100Gbps capacity. But it will be upgraded “by the beginning of Q3 this year”, Mustafa Burai, senior manager for international wholesale and carrier relations at Sudatel told Capacity.
Sudatel’s two partners in the project are Camtel and SudaChad Telecom.
Judith Yah Sunday (pictured, centre), CEO of Camtel, said: “The continuous network WE-Africa-NA will accelerate penetration of broadband services throughout the continent while maximising the monetisation of the region’s network infrastructure assets in line with our ambition to turn Cameroon into the digital hub of Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Khalid Abdelatif (pictured, left), CEO of SudaChad Telecom, said the project shared the 2020-2030 vision and digital transformation strategy of the African Union (AU), “which seeks the establishment of an integrated digital society and economy to improve people’s quality of lives, strengthen the economy and enable diversification and sustainable development, while ensuring Africa’s ownership by transforming it into a productive continent as opposed to only being a consumer in the global economy.”
Sudatel Group CEO Magdi Taha (pictured, right) added: “We believe that everyone deserves the experience of the digital and connected life.”
Port-Sudan, on the east coast of Sudan, is where several cables from Saudi Arabia land, and also a northernmost landing station for the Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy), which runs to Mtunzini in South Africa.
Kribi, on the Cameroon coast, is where the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) cable and the South Atlantic Interlink (SAIL) cable to Fortaleza in Brazil have landing points. There is also a cable to Nigeria and another to Equatorial Guinea.
Sunday said: “This historic partnership between Camtel, SudaChad and Sudatel represents a milestone in the intra-Africa collaboration on digital economy development.”
Abdelatif said: “WE-Africa-NA is clearly well aligned with this vision [of the AU], and a pioneering participant in its realisation. And we are very optimistic about the potential growth prospects that this partnership promises to bring.”
Taha added: “The WE-Africa-NA partnership is a historical step toward this vision as it will deliver the shortest and most resilient terrestrial connectivity between the east and west coasts of Africa. … We are delighted to be part of WE-Africa-NA by leveraging our extensive and largest fibre network in Sudan and the country’s prime geographical location as a connectivity gate for east Africa and continue to grow our fibre highway ambitions for Africa.”