Afrika will soon have its first fibre network that connects the continent from Cape Town to Cairo via Sudan. Known as the "One Africa" network, it will come as a result of Liquid Telecom, a pan-Afrikan telecommunications company, signing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Telecom Egypt that will allow Liquid Telecom to complete possibly Afrika’s first terrestrial fibre network that goes all the way from Cape Town, South Africa, to Cairo, Egypt.
As part of the agreement with Telecom Egypt, Liquid Telecom will connect its network from Sudan into Telecom Egypt’s network via a new cross-border interconnection.
“Completing our vision of building a single network running on land, all the way from Cape to Cairo is a historic moment for the company and for a more connected Africa. This network not only represents a remarkable engineering achievement that has overcome some of the most challenging distances and terrains on the continent, but it is also supporting the rise of Africa’s digital economies,” said Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman at Econet, which owns Liquid Telecom.
One Africa fibre network
Masiyiwa added that wherever the One Africa fibre network had been completed, they had observed "dramatic increase of data traffic between nations connected to it." The expectation is that with improved intra-Afrika connectivity there will be improved intra-Afrika trade.
The One Africa fibre network will bring together a 60,000km network that runs from Cape Town, through all the Southern, Central, and Eastern Afrikan countries, and has now reached the border between Sudan and Egypt. It has been in the making for over 10 years.
“This MoU is a great step in our strategy to penetrate the African market and avail Telecom Egypt’s most advanced technology and global infrastructure services to customers across Africa. We look forward to working alongside Liquid Telecom to develop new network services and products that will help stimulate intra-regional trade,” said Ahmed El Beheiry, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Telecom Egypt.
Another part of the agreement is that Liquid Telecom and Telecom Egypt will share network infrastructure and explore further areas of collaboration, including joint network services, a peering arrangement, and a voice interconnection agreement. Telecom Egypt will offer Liquid Telecom reach through interconnection services, while its customers will benefit from access to Liquid Telecom’s pan-Afrikan fibre network.
Cover Image credit: Map of the One Africa fibre broadband network from Cape Town to Cairo. Liquid Telecom