African Undersea Cables

Update July 2019 (Version 48)
French version now available.  Cliquez ici pour la version française.

African Undersea Cables in 2021 - maybe (Version 48)

Please contact me if you’d like a copy of the map in SVG format.

For a history of African undersea cables, have a look at animated gif history. If you’re interested in seeing how these cables are changing access, Stanford University’s PINGer project is monitoring the impact of Seacom and other east coast cables as they come online. You may also be interested in NSRC‘s map of African Terrestrial Fibre initiatives at Finally, for a more comprehensive look at undersea cables, check out Greg Mahlknecht’s or Telegeography’s Submarine Cable Map.

Undersea Cable Ownership


The Seacom cable is owned by:

  • 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 KfW. 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/Vodacom ($18.9 million) , MTN ($40.3 million),  and Neotel (~$11 million).

WIOCC, an SPV created to facilitate open access is the largest shareholder, with 29%.  WIOCC consortium members include: Botswana Telecommunications Corporation, Dalkom Somalia, Djibouti Telecom, Gilat Satcom Nigeria Ltd., the Government of Seychelles, the Lesotho Telecommunications Authority, ONATEL Burundi, Telkom Kenya Ltd., Telecommunicacões de Mocambique (TDM), U-COM Burundi, Uganda Telecom Ltd., Zantel Tanzania and most recently, TelOne Zimbabwe and Libyan Post, Telecom and Information Technology Company (LPTIC)

Other investors in the system include Bharti Airtel Limited of India,  British Telecommunications, Etisalat of the United Arab Emirates, France Telecom, Mauritius Telecom, Saudi Telecom Company, Comores Telecom, Sudan Telecom Company, Tanzania Telecommunications Company, Telecom Malagasy,  Zambia Telecommunications Company, Zanzibar Telecom.


85 per cent of the cable is owned by TEAMs (Kenya) Ltd and the rest by Etisalaat of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).   The TEAMS (Kenya) Ltd holding breaks down as follows:

  • 32.5% – Safaricom Ltd
  • 23% – Orange Kenya Ltd
  • 20% – Government of Kenya
  • 10% – Liquid Telecom Kenya Ltd
  • 6% – Wananchi Group
  • 5% – Jamii Telecom Ltd
  • 1.8% – Access Kenya Group
  • 1.2% – BCS Group

West African Cable System (WACS)

  • Telkom
  • Vodacom
  • MTN
  • Tata Communications (Neotel)
  • Broadband Infraco
  • Cable & Wireless
  • Portugal Telecoms
  • Congo Telecoms (formerly Sotelco)
  • Telecom Namibia
  • Togo Telecom
  • OCPT (Office Congolais des Postes et Telecommunications)
  • Angola Cables


Privately owned.  On June 1, 2009, the African Development Bank confirmed  USD 66 million financing for the project.

Africa Coast to Europe (ACE)

ACE consortium signatories:

  • Baharicom Development Company
  • Cable Consortium of Liberia
  • Companhia Santomense de Telecomunicações
  • Côte d’Ivoire Telecom
  • Expresso Telecom Group
  • France Telecom
  • Gambia Telecommunications Company
  • International Mauritania Telecom
  • Office Congolais des Postes et Télécommunications
  • Orange Cameroun
  • Orange Guinée
  • Orange Mali
  • Orange Niger
  • PT Comunicações
  • Republic of Equatorial Guinea
  • Republic of Gabon
  • Sierra Leone Cable Company
  • Sonatel
  • Sotelgui


Africa at Night image courtesy Wikipedia/NASA