[Kictanet] Ensuring affordable and open access to the East African Submarine Cable

alice at apc.org alice at apc.org
Thu Feb 16 12:54:51 EAT 2006

Dear KIP and KICTANet list members

You are invited to attend a one day event convened by the Association for
Progressive Communications, Balancing Act, Collaboration on International
ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa and Kenya ICT Action Network.

Venue and date: Indian Ocean Beach Hotel, Mombasa, 10 March 2006.

Members who are able to fund their attendance are encouraged to participate.

Africa currently has to pay for some of the most expensive bandwidth in the
world and the money it pays in hard currency leaves the continent. Because
East Africa does not have international fibre connections, it is paying more
than countries connected to the SAT3 fibre on the other side of the
The price of international bandwidth is a significant barrier to the region’s
development. It makes it more expensive to do business here: for example, it
is harder for new call centres to compete with their global competitors. And
in terms of its social development, there are many areas where cheap
international access would give East African citizens, professionals,
students and decision-makers access to knowledge, expertise and involvement
in regional and global discussions.
The cost of international bandwidth almost certainly directly affects your
work; whether through the high cost of international calls (particularly to
other African countries) or through the cost and speed of your internet
In response to these issues, the EASSy consortium has been set up to build a
fibre route that will connect countries on the east coast of Africa. However
its governance and the terms under which access to the new capacity will be
available have not yet been set. The project is at a crossroads: it can
either follow the monopoly practices of its predecessor SAT3 or offer an
Open Access regime that will increase competition and lower prices, and give
consideration to development needs.
Therefore KICTANET, CIPESA, Balancing Act and APC want to invite you to a
briefing on the subject followed by a debate of the key issues with the
questions that still need answers. We enclose a programme for this day-long
event and look forward to seeing you there.

Funds for supporting travel and accommodation are limited. Therefore please
try and arrange for your own participation.

Please respond to this invitation by Monday 20 February 2006 to Vanessa
Purper, APC’s Events and Logistics Coordinator – vanessa at apc.org

Yours sincerely, on behalf of APC, Balancing Act, CIPESA and Kictanet

Anriette Esterhuysen
APC Executive Director

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