Submarine cable another pillar of New Seychelles, says President


 President Michel addressing guests after the arrival of the fibre-optic cable yesterday

President James Michel said this after the cable landed at Beau Vallon where he witnessed the historic event.

“It is the way forward; the key to the future. A much enhanced link to the global village,” he said.

“Its connection to our shores today heralds yet another transformation in our society. It will not only bring us broadband internet, but a wide selection of new opportunities for e-commerce, faster communication as well as business and technological innovation. It will provide new opportunities for growth, wealth creation and progress.”

He said while we look forward to the future of this innovation with eagerness, we must remember that we have come a very long way, naming a number of developments in telecommunication, for example the first telegraph cable that was laid some 120 years ago between Zanzibar and Seychelles and Aden, and then later Colombo, with later wireless communication with London.

“We have managed to come a long way since then when the cable capacity was only 15 words a minute,” he said.

Mr Michel noted the first radio broadcasts started in the 1940s and the first telephone lines were introduced in 1953, and the first satellite connection in 1976.

“Cellular telephony was introduced in 1995 followed by Internet services in 1996,” he said.
“All of them have propelled us into societal change: in our day-to-day wellbeing, our education, our way of conducting business and, at the same time, they have removed our sense of isolation from the rest of the world. We may be living on islands in the Indian Ocean, a thousand miles away from the closest continent, but our information ‘connectivity’ has assured that we steadily become closer to our neighbours, closer to our far-flung relatives and friends, and just a ‘click’ away from every corner of the earth.”

He said Seychelles is today globally recognised as one of the leading countries for information communication technology development, and this year won the United Nations Award for E-Government as the number 1 country in Africa.

“This is a formidable achievement, and testimony to the determination of our public service IT professionals to excel in this field. It is also testimony to the success of the New Seychelles,” he said.

“The Seychelles East Africa System project is another great ‘first’ for the New Seychelles, and a product of the hard work of our IT engineers and their international partners. We need to work hard to empower ourselves with the new IT tools that this broadband project offers.

“We need to develop the technical expertise of our business and public services professionals, as well as training young people and encouraging them take up careers in the IT sector,” he said, congratulating and thanking Vice-President Danny Faure and others who have taken part in the project for their hard work and excellence in the delivery of the cable.

“This is a striking example of successful public-private sector partnership, which is a model for sound economic development. We are also most grateful for the strong support of the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank for this project,” he said.

“In the coming weeks Cable and Wireless and Airtel will have the great challenge of delivering faster Internet services to our homes and work places. Naturally, we have great expectations from the internet service providers to deliver the new and improved services and affordable outreach as a result of this cable connection. I wish you every success in the development of these services for the benefit of the people of Seychelles,” he said, noting we have embarked on a new journey in information technology, offering opportunities we should seize with vigour and determination.