from SAVIOUS KWINIKA in Durban
DURBAN – LIQUID Telecom, the leading Pan Africa’s telecommunications company, is set to connect the entire continent through a land-based communication link between Cape Town and Cairo, the South African and Egyptian cities respectively.
Reshaad Sha, Liquid Telecom Chief Executive Officer, made the announcement on Monday at the ongoing International Telecommunication Union (ITU) summit in Durban, South Africa.
The link is anticipated to provide high-speed broadband aimed at bringing economic and social benefits to the estimated 1,3 billion African population.
“For the first time, Africa will have a direct land-based communication link between Cape to Cairo,” said Sha.
Sha said the connectivity would champion the intra-African trade, which he said at the moment was at its lowest, estimated at 18 percent.
“To achieve this, our network has overcome some of the most challenging distances and terrains on the continent – not to mention the threat of wildlife, limited power supplies and theft of equipment,” he said.
The executive said his telecom giant was taking advantage of African Union (AU) member states agreeing to free-trade agreements, with a combined gross domestic product of more than $3,4 trillion (about R51 trillion).
The connectivity is presently stretching 10,000km, connecting 13 countries.
Eventually, it will stretch more than 10 000km, making it the shortest direct fire route between cable routes – many of which still transit via Europe.
Sha also told the ITU that Liquid Telecom’s network was ready for the Fourth Industrial revolution (Industry 4.0).
He said start-ups and businesses in the continent (Africa) were experimenting with emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), Big Data, Analytics and Blockchain, all which had potential to solve African problems and improve livelihoods.
“We are improving cloud capabilities across the region – providing both the infrastructure and tools to accelerate digital innovation,” Sha said.
Strive Masiyiwa, the Zimbabwean billionaire and philanthropist, founded Liquid Telecom.
He is among prominent delegates at the historic event held for the first time in the continent.
The ITU summit ends on Thursday.
Opening the summit on Monday, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, called on the continent to embrace digital innovation in order to leapfrog.
– CAJ News