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Connectivity of submarine cables: the key to accelerating digital transformation

Corridor Africa Technologies is a leading and innovative provider of smart technologies and solutions. We hear from CEO Matone Ditlhake about the importance of submarine cable connectivity in South Africa’s digital transformation.

Undersea cable connectivity is key to accelerating digital transformation in Africa. Google recently launched its US$1 billion Equiano Cable, a connection between Western Europe and South Africa. This announcement also coincides with Meta-backed 2Africa, the world’s longest submarine cable due to go live in 2024.

Matone Ditlhake, CEO, Corridor Africa Technologies

The Equiano 144Tbps, 12 fiber pair cable will deliver faster internet speeds and lower internet prices when it goes live before the end of the year. It will be the cable with the highest capacity in Africa and will stretch over 15,000 kilometers from Portugal to South Africa.

Submarine cable connectivity will help governments across Africa achieve their digital transformation goals and objectives. In South Africa, it will significantly contribute to the government’s NDP2030 and SA Connect strategies.

Infrastructure development and digital and socio-economic transformation were the key topics of the GovTech 2022 conference, the annual meeting platform for government and industry officials to connect to serve citizens to better utilize information and communication technologies.

Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, pledged that the government is committed to achieving broadband targets as key catalysts in achieving radical economic change for South Africa.

The government is implementing a broadband connectivity drive through SA Connect and its aim is to ensure that all South Africans have internet access. According to Google, the Equiano undersea cable will create 1.6 million jobs and it expects data prices to fall by at least 20%.

Using SA Connect, the government plans to connect more than 400 sites in the Eastern Cape and Northern Cape and then provide Internet access to everyone nationwide during phase two. This program aims to connect more than 33,000 community Wi-Fi hotspots over three years.

Ntshavheni recently said that a revised model for SA Connect would include partnering with ISPs, access network service providers and mobile virtual network operators in the SME space. She referred to this collaboration as part of the government’s commitment to transforming the telecommunications industry.

Digital transformation involves the continuous application of the latest technologies to improve a government’s performance and help meet the expectations of its citizens. There is no doubt that this is important, digital transformation offers many solutions to e-government services as it addresses most e-government challenges.

It is clear that the government has policies in place to support digital transformation and with the advancements in digital infrastructure and technologies, it could successfully meet its challenges to successfully achieve its global digital strategy.

The South African government is certainly lagging behind in digital transformation in achieving its e-government goal. It should work closely with stakeholders to achieve e-government through digital transformation. Citizens will increasingly see this digital transformation over the next few years.

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