A critical mass of countries are expected to ratify the e-Africa Commission's regional telecommunications protocol by the end of June, paving the way for implementation of broadband interconnection projects on the continent. The e-Africa Commission is part of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and chartered by the African Union to build and develop the continent's information and communications technology infrastructures.
With the proposed East Africa Submarine cable system (EASSy) fiber cable coming on stream in 2008, and the steady roll-out of national backbone and cross-border links, it might be expected that the proportion of African traffic carried by fiber would increase very quickly. This appears unlikely to happen within the next three to five years, according to a recent report from consultancy company, Balancing Act.
The East Africa (eAfrica) Commission is on track to start construction, by early 2007, on a fibre-optic loop that will link East African countries to international submarine cable networks, according to project officials.