JOHANNESBURG -(Dow Jones)- The Seacom undersea fiberoptic telecommunications cable has secured a contract from Ethiopian Telecommunications Corp. to supply international broadband capacity via a link through Dijibouti, the privately- funded company said Thursday.
Ethiopia’s government is rolling out a $1.5 billion national initiative to improve the east African country’s telecommunications infrastructure. Amongst other projects, its national fiberoptic network is set to be expanded significantly.
“The availability of high-quality broadband at lower prices will accelerate economic development and educational initiatives that will enhance lives and will also establish Ethiopia as an important commercial center for Africa and as a regional transit point for other service providers,” said Amare Amsalu, chief executive of Ethiopian Telecommunications.
Seacom is a 17,000 kilometer submarine cable launched in July that aims to connect eastern and southern African countries to the rest of the world via India and Europe.
The company is almost 77% owned by African investors, including an arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, Venfin Ltd., Convergence Partners and Shanduka Group. The remainder is owned by Herakles Telecom LLC.
-By Robb M. Stewart, Dow Jones Newswires; +27 11 783 7848; robb.stewart@ dowjones.com