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Kenya fibre optic project defended

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 30 – The East African Marine Systems Cable, TEAMS, Secretariat has refuted claims that the cable landing ceremony in Mombasa presided over by President Mwai Kibaki mid this month was a hoax.

TEAMS Chairman Michael Joseph said that the physical laying of the cable between Mombasa and Fujairah was complete and the official launch marked the shore end arrival of the cable which is the penultimate stage of completion before the final splice.

“The landing stations on both sides i.e. Mombasa and Fujairah are complete and indeed the contractor is already carrying out extensive equipment tests,” said Mr Joseph.

While criticising the reports appearing in a section of the media, Mr Joseph said there’s need to distinguish between the “landing of the cable” and the completion of the TEAMS project which refers to its ready commercial service date and which will be several weeks away.

“It will be important to point out that the ready for commercial service date is still several weeks away with at least 6 weeks of testing required before commercial traffic can be allowed through.”

Mr Joseph, who also the Chief Executive Officer of Safaricom said that all activities related to TEAMS were running on schedule and it was just a matter of time before Kenyans started enjoying the long anticipated services of the cable.

Information Permanent Secretary Dr Bitange Ndemo concurs with Mr Joseph and adds that the cable will rejuvenate the country by enhancing ICT uptake which will in turn transform Kenya into a competitive, knowledge-based economy.

He said that with the laying of the infrastructure, Kenya was on the way to developing an economy where decisions made in all sectors were based on knowledge.

For instance, he said experts would take and document soil samples which would then inform the kind of crops to be grown in different areas across the country, court cases would be filed, the census and voting would be done electronically.

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“We could then set up electronic commodity centers where Kenyans will be able to log on and find out where to get various commodities; others would create courier companies that would then deliver these products. There is so much activity that can be created from these networks,” he added.

The data centres that are being set up in all constituencies across the country, he pointed out could also be developed to not only become outsourcing and franchising centres but they could also provide e-banking and e-government services.

This would only be possible however if people particularly the youth developed a start-up’ culture where they can transform their ideas into money-making ventures.

“We must change the way we think.  We must tell our brothers and sisters that the motto is wealth creation and not employment,” he stated.

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