Submarine cables for Africa

Does anyone know of a simple one-stop shop to find out more about the progress of submarine cable development around Africa – particularly East Africa?  The following main initiatives are underway:

  • EASSy (The Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System) – MoU signed in December 2003
  • SAFE (South Africa Far East) – Commissioned in 2002 and built by Tyco Submarine Systems of the USA
  • SAT-2 – in service since 1993 linking South Africa with Tenerife
  • SAT-3/WASC (South Atlantic/West Africa Submarine Cable) –  linking Portugal and Spain to South Africa
  • SEACOM (South East Asian Telecommunication Cable) – commercial launch due June 2009 (Update from The Daily  Nation, Kenya)
  • TEAMS (The East African Marine System) – in 2006 the Kenyan government partnered with Etisalat to build its own fibre optic cable; in October 2007 Alcatel-Lucent was awarded the contract to lay the cable linking Mombasa with Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates
  • West Africa Cable System – formed from Infraco AWCC, SAT-4 and Uhurunet
  • MainOne Submarine Cable project from Portugal to Ghana and Nigeria (thanks for the link Jon) – first phase expected to be completed by June 2010 led by the Nigerian Main One Cable Company

Useful links include:

Please do add comments below relating to other sources of useful information about this topic.



Filed under Cable

17 responses to “Submarine cables for Africa

  1. Victor

    Thanks Tim,

    There was a story last night on Kenyan news that the SEACOM cable remains firmly on track. They are still touting the 2009 June dates. Their website hasn’t been updated with the latest project update though.

  2. unwin

    Thanks – that’s good to know – do you have the link to the story so that I can post it?

  3. Abi


    You may also want to look at Steve Song’s blog “Many Possibilities”

    He’s done an interesting set of maps tracking proposed cabel projects around the African seaboard.

  4. Jon

    Tim, since I’ve made good use of your list, here’s another I stumbled across – not sure if distinct or part of those above

    MainOne Submarine cable project (Nigeria/Ghana to Portugal)

  5. Jon

    Seems like UbuntuNet’s newspage may be the one-stop you were looking for – seems to update regularly.

  6. Victor Gathara

    Had a chat last week with the PS information and Communications Kenya on sub-marine fibre. He showed me a France Telecom map on Africa and Indian Ocean routes. It includes the LION cable that will connect Madagascar to the SAT3/WASC/SAFE cable and rund through to Kenya. He said he expects it to land in Lamu in Kenya in August 09. Anyone with any concrete info on this?

  7. unwin

    I had not heard of this – but will see if I can find out more.

  8. Abi

    Saw a press release on the cable in March 2008; but that said the (proposed) cable would link Madagascar to the SAFE cable via Reunion and Mauritius. No mention of Kenya; see

    Have found no other information on the cable in the public domain since its announcement.

    France Telecom also proposed a cable project on the West Coast of Africa called ACE (Africa Coast to Europe). An MoU was signed in Nov 2008 but again no/little information on the status of this in the public domain since the announcement (see:

  9. Mike Last

    You can find the latest updates on EASSy on the WIOCC website at

    The marine survey is almost finished, cable manufacture is ongoing and the terrestrial backhaul networks are well underway. EASSy is reporting a Q2 2010 launch.

    WIOCC is the largest shareholder in the EASSy system

  10. Mike

    A further update on EASSy progress – the marine survey is finished, cable manufacture is well underway, landing station construction in progress with permits secured. Cable laying planed for early Q3 this year:

  11. Jon

    Part of the TEAMS cable is complete and is inaugurated in Kenya today

    Tax cuts to boost Kenya broadband

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  12. Jon

    ACE extended to South Africa, taking in all countries along West African coast:

  13. Tim


    Thanks for this – helpful update


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