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Thursday, 20 December 2012 01:33(JollofNews) – The Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable has been launched today at a colourful ceremony held in Brusubi.
The launch presented Gambia ACE Management Committee with the unique opportunity to bring high speed internet access to the continent.
Laid along the Atlantic coasts of Europe and Africa, the ACE project is compromised of France, Portugal, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Sao Tome and Principe.
The 17, 000km cable is geared towards boosting the continent digital future.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Vice-President of the Gambia, Isatou Njie Saidy said for many years Africans have been dependent on secondary and alternative for international communications through other operators in the market.
She added: “This has resulted in traffic imbalance, significant transit charges and high call rates. The introduction of ACE therefore, is a means to empower and liberate African countries from such dependency by linking them directly to the global telecommunications infrastructure, thus availing our countries of the opportunity to connect directly and exchange traffic in a smooth and effective manner.”
Madam Njie-Saidy seized the opportunity to commend the initiative taken by France Telecom and the Consortium of 16 countries from the 23 countries that have undertaken to manage this gigantic project.
“I must emphasise that the launching of the ACE cable system in the Gambia is a welcome development that will certainly put the country at the centre stage of the global communication landscape,” she said.
Yves Ruggeri, ACE chairman, who was instrumental in the implementation of the project, said the ACE cable project began at the end of 2008 when France Telecom and Orange Group decided to develop a sustainable, competitive solution to the transmission capacity needs of its subsidiaries in Africa.
Mr Ruggeri said a number of key players had stepped forward to take part in the project after they were convinced that it would be a core component of any response to the development of the digital economy and the explosion in internet use.
Describing the launch event as a momentous occasion, Lamin Camara, deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry Infrastructure who also doubles as chairman of ACE Regulatory and Communication Subcommittee, said the project will accelerate broadband development in Africa, foster social transformation and economic advancement.
He added that such projects have to be encouraged and nurtured for the progress of Africa.
Written by Abdoulie John
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