Somalia and Djibouti on telecommunication cooperation

(HornTrade) – The telecommunication ministers of Somalia and Djibouti have met to discuss the strengthening of ties between the two nations in the telecommunication sector.

Min. Abdi Ashur Hassan of Somalia and Abdi Youssouf Sougueh have met in Djibouti city over the course of four days to seriously explore the prospect of adding additional submarine optical cable connection to Somalia in the wake of the three-week internet outage in July. 11 of 18 Somali regions, including the capital were without internet after an anchor from a Swiss-owned, Panama-flagged MSC Alice dragged its anchor through the single fibre cable that provides internet to the Horn of Africa nation.

Min. Hassan stressed that Somalia desperately needs to strengthen its internet capability if it wants to smoothen the path to economic recovery. Djibouti, the minister hopes, can provide the solution to Somalia’s internet woes.

“To act proactively we need to move forward with the discussions of another cable. And Djibouti is a good partner in this regard because eight submarine fiber optic cables land in Djibouti,”

The Somali government estimated that the country lost USD$10 million a day to during the outage.

The following are the major points of the joint statement:

1. Recalling the submarine cable cut near Mogadishu landing station that severed international connectivity to a large geographic area in Somalia, the two ministries recognize the need for at least an additional submarine optical cable connection to Somalia. The two ministries agreed in principle to renew and move forward with the discussions Somali and Djibouti governments and Somali telecommunication carriers and Djibouti Telecom on the Djibouti African Regional Express (DARE) cable, which will connect Djibouti and Mombasa with many landing stations in Somalia.

2. The ministries agreed to promote and strengthen the cooperation between the ministries in a number of areas, such as regional interconnectivity, terrestrial optical fiber, cyber security, ICT regulations, cross border signals issues, spectrum management, and numbering plan, etc.

3. The ministers agreed to convene a meeting between the officials of the two governments; Somalia carriers and Djibouti Telecom in the near future.


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