NAIROBI, Kenya, June 9 – Kenya is on course to getting its first marine fibre-optic cable connection by the end of this week.
Information and Communication Permanent Secretary Dr Bitange Ndemo affirmed on Tuesday that The East African Marine System (TEAMS) cable would be launched by President Mwai Kibaki on Friday.
Dr Ndemo allayed reported concerns that the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) had not commissioned the landing site at Fort Jesus. It had been alleged that NMK had ordered a halt to construction of the site claiming that TEAMS was yet to carry out a mandatory land environmental impact assessment.
“The presence at this press conference of National Museums of Kenya (officials) should indeed be a confirmation that these government agencies are working together rather than at cross purposes,” Dr Ndemo said.
National Museums of Kenya Director General Idle Farah clarified that both NMK and the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) approved the Maritime Impact Assessment for the project.
“The terrestrial survey which has recently been finalised is to assist in routing the cable on land so as to avoid the historical sites associated with the Fort Jesus Museum,” Mr Farah explained.
The TEAMS cable is a joint venture by a consortium of the government and Kenyan operators who hold 85 percent and Etisilat – a Dubai Telecom operator – with 15 percent.
The government has invested Sh8.6 billion in the project with the Dubai consortium putting in an additional Sh1.5 billion.
Shares allocated to each local operator represent a pro-rata cost of the construction of the cable.