Faster, cheaper internet for SA’s neighbours

Windhoek - Namibia and Botswana on Tuesday inaugurated their links to a 14,000 kilometre underground cable system that provides both with faster and cheaper Internet connectivity.

The $750 million fibre optic submarine West African Cable System (WACS), which went live in Namibia last month, delivers a speed of 5.12 terabits per second and stretches down the west coast of Africa.

A Pentagon official said it was concerned about 'any nation interfering with these cables]. Credit: REUTERS

Telecom Namibia will operate and manage the landing station, one of 15 points of the cable which runs between Britain and South Africa.

“Information and communication technology is an important factor for Namibia and will open doors for socio-economic development,” President Hifikepunye Pohamba said at the ceremony in Swakopmund.

“The West African Cable System is a significant achievement.”

Land-locked neighbour Botswana shared the $75 million local costs of the cable with Namibia, with the landing point in Namibia's coastal Swakopmund some 370 kilometres west of the capital.

“The WACS will be a great benefit for Botswana and also brings both our countries closer,” said Botswana President Ian Khama who was on a three-day state visit to Namibia. - Sapa-AFP