Rwanda in Talks With Kenya to Connect to Undersea Cable

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Government is currently engaged in talks with Kenya over a possible partnership to connect the country's backbone with the newly launched undersea cable at the Kenyan port of Mombasa.

Speaking to The New Times last week, the Minister in Charge of Science and Technology in the Office of the President, Prof. Romain Murenzi, revealed that he had delegated officials from Rwanda Development Board (RDB) to engage in talks with Kenyan authorities to have the cable connected to the Rwandan border.

"I have personally visited the landing sites in Dar-el-salaam, Tanzania and in Mombasa, Kenya to assess the possibilities of connecting the fibre optic cable to Rwanda. I am expecting a report from the team anytime soon," Murenzi said.

Connection to the undersea cables is one of the country's priorities to become a regional Information Communication Technology (ICT) hub. Rwanda wants to connect to "The East African Marine System" (TEAMS) which docked last week at the Kenyan coastal town of Mombasa. This submarine cable is owned by the Kenyan government.

Rwanda recently received a $ 24 million grant from World Bank (WB), under the Regional Communication Infrastructure Program - Rwanda (RCIPRWA), to establish the country's capacity to provide broadband connectivity and access to low-cost international connectivity. The World Bank project is meant to facilitate Rwanda to connect its national backbone to landing sites of any of the three East African coastal submarine cables. Murenzi said the country has already laid groundwork to ensure that the business starts as soon as the cable becomes operational.

Rwanda is represented in the EASSy consortium by MTN Rwanda and Rwandatel and Altech will be the national POP for the Seacom cable.

New Times