Kenya has announced plans to connect to the Djibouti Africa Regional Express (DARE) submarine fibre optic cable system at a cost of US$59-million.
According to contractor SubCom the connection, scheduled for completion by June 2020, will extend 4,747km and will offer 36Tbps of capacity to East Africa.
Upon completion, DARE will be the fifth regional submarine fibre optic system Kenya is connected to. The others include SEACOM, East African Marine System (TEAMS), Eastern African Submarine Cable System (EASsy) and Lion2 systems.
Robert Mugo, director of shared services at Kenya's Communications Authority, said the investment demonstrates government's desire to improve Kenya's position as a regional IT hub and is in line with the country's digital master plan launched at the 2019 Transform Africa Summit.
"It is also aimed at guaranteeing companies and individuals access to faster, secure and reliable internet connection," he said. "Revenues generated by the digital economy should reach US$23,000-billion by 2025, thanks to investments 6.7 times higher than those in other sectors."
DARE was ready for commercial roll out in May 2018 and consists of two fibre pairs and an estimated design capacity of 30 Tbps.
Spanning 5500 kilometers, the cable is owned and operated by a consortium consisting of Africa Marine Express, Djibouti Telecom, Golis Telecommunications, Hormuud Telecom Somalia, Somtel International, Telesom and TeleYemen.
Mohamed Assoweh Bouh, Djibouti Telecom director general said, "We believe this cable system is crucial for the development of the East African region and we are impressed by SubCom's level of dedication and professional project management. We look forward to expanding [the cable system] into other regions and connecting it with other cables to increase accessibility in Africa and across the globe."