Mostly in order to keep them all straight in my head, I have compiled a list of African undersea cable initiatives and their features, investors, etc.

Cost (USD)
650 million 265 million 82 million 2 billion? 865 million
Length 13,700km 10,000km 4,500 km 13,000 km 14,000 km
1.28 terabits/s 640 gigabit/s 40 gigabit/s 3.84 terabits/s 2.5 terabits / s?
June 2009 2009 April 2009 2010 Q4 2010
USA 25%
SA 50%
Kenya 25%
Operators 90%
Kenya Gov 20%
Private Investors 65%
UAE Eitelsat 15%
Infraco 26%
Private Investors 74%
US 100%?
Items in red have been updated. Last update: 9 May 2008

Investor detail:

Seacom (

Industrial Promotion Services (25%), an arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (USD 75 million)
(Kenya – founded by Prince Karim Aga Khan IV of Pakistan)

VenFin Limited (25%) – USD 75 million)

Herakles Telecom LLC (backed by Blackstone) (25%), New York-based lead company, no website (USD 75 million)

Convergence Partners (12,5%) – USD 37.5 million

Shanduka Group (12.5%) – USD 37.5 million


EASSy is 90% African owned although that ownership is underwritten by a substantial investment by Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) including World Bank/IFC, EIB, AfDB, AFD, and DfW. Total DFI investment is apparently $70.7 million, with $18.2 million coming from IFC, 14.5 million from AfDB. This is a smaller amount than the originally advertised $120 million investment from DFIs.

South African investors in EASSY include Telkom South Africa ($18.9 million) , Neotel, and MTN.

There are 26 telco operators in total invested in EASSy.

An SPV created to facilitate. open access will be the biggest shareholder, with 46%.

In Jan 2008, VSNL announced an investment in EASSy


Currently, 85 per cent of the project is owned by the Government of Kenya and the rest by Etisalaat of the United Arab Emirates. The Gov’t of Kenya is looking for local investment in the cable. According to Business Day, Safaricom is a likely shareholder at 30 per cent with the government retaining a 20 per cent stake. The rest is up for investment by regional operators.

Uhurunet / Infraco

African telecom operators (45%), Nepad (30%), International investors (25%)

Confirmed and rumored investors:
• 5P Holdings (US)
• International Development Office of the government of Ras Al Khaimah (an emirate in the UAE)
• Pan-African Infrastructure Development Fund (PAIDF)
• Phelps Stokes Fund (American 501 (c)(3) nonprofit
• Sheikh Saoud of Qatar (rumored)
• South African ownership: Telkom, Neotel and MTN together own 27%


A US company founded by African and African-American group of telecom veterans. Financial backing from West African bank and

Posted by Steve Song

@stevesong local telco policy activist. social entrepreneur. founder of @villagetelco #africa #telecoms #opensource #privacy #wireless #spectrum #data