LION2 undersea cable system launches to become Kenya’s fourth cable

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Yesterday, another undersea fibre cable went live in East Africa. The cable, the second Lower Indian Ocean Network submarine cable (LION2) is reportedly now commercially operational LION2 is an extension of the first LION undersea cable and now provides a direct link from Kenya to Madagascar, St. Paul Reunion, and Mauritius, the three countries that were connected by LION back in 2009. LION2 also connects to the island of Mayotte, a France overseas department.

The first LION cable further connects to SAT3/SAFE cable which gives Kenya alternative routes to Asia and South Africa.

LION2’s capacity is 1.28 Tbps. Laying of the cable began in 2010 after the completion of the first LION. While the major shareholders of the first LION cable were France Telecom, Orange Madagascar and Mauritius Telecom, LION2 has added Telkom Kenya to the list of shareholders. Telkom Kenya itself is a subsidiary of France Telecom Group.

The development brings to four the cables now landed on the shores of Kenya making the East African country one of the most connected countries in Africa.

Here’s more about the launch of the LION2 cable on Business Daily Africa.


  1. JamesM

    Kenya has embraced the digital economy wholeheartedly and has a national vision that seeks to fully exploit the digital economy to the benefit of its citizenry. Key tech behemoths like Google have setup critical operations in the country and having a coastline gives Kenya an added bonus. Now how about us here in Zim, well, for starters we are landlocked, but then again so are our neighbours Botswana with a better ITC infrastructure as well as ITC policy. And as for a national vision that seeks to extract benefits from the digital economy to the citizenry? Well zulch! What then does it mean to an IT professional in Zim? Simple – life is difficult!

    1. L.S.M. Kabweza

      We have a strategic plan that has a lot of potential if implemented. You’d be shocked to see that at least some people have a good idea what needs to be done to push tech economy forward. Failure is in implementation. 

      1. Chanyani

        Yah, Zims ICT Plan is okay. Some of its componets, like incubators at regional institutions like Nust (Technopark) have been limping for more than 15 years. Other countries come on the game late and simply breeze past us because the have the stamina to implement. Maybe our politics get in the way.

      2. Prosper Chikomo

        I can tell you of so many “strategic plans” that had potential. Chief of them is ESAP. ESAP was touted as the solution to economic progress and only brought massive unemployment and made the economy even worse.

        Then there was ZIMPREST. It was said the country would leap-frog economically yet we went on to see hyperinflation and many other economic problems including fuel shortages.

        Then there is the Look East policy which at one time was said would bring US$1 billion into the country because our friend China has trillions ofUS dollars and foreign currency reserves. No billion dollars ever came.

        Then there was Simba Makoni’s Bicycle budget. The them minister of finance imagoned every Zimbabwean cycliung to work and goods being delivered across cities in India-style rickshaws because there was no fuel in the country. Good idea of his. He put zero duty on bicycle imports and bike parts imports and it achieved nothing.

        Anyway, the strategic plan you mention says nothing about IT skilling Zimbabweans. There is a huge shortfall of skills. It puts the cart before the horse.

        1. Chanyani

          Your first sentence of the last paragraph is wrong. If you you look at Goal 3 in page 20 to 21 and Key result Area 3 in page 32 you will realise that the plan (of te Strategic Paln 2010 – 2014) has a well spelt out skills development approach. Couple this with the fact that most of our universities offer ICT at graduate and post graduate levels, then your argument can only be to increase funding and maybe improve quality. Tos say that it “says nothing about IT skilling Zimbabweas.”is wrong. That makes you other post below equally untrue and recommendations false.

          1. Prosper Chikomo


            I have to admit, I just read what was on Techzim and I was
            off. I thought I had read everything. Anyway, I went back and saw the PDF logo
            and downloaded the bloody document.

            I saw the stuff you said.

            I don’t understand how learning ICDL: catapults us into the knowledge
            economy, or at least what I think it is.

            What I call a knowledge economy is not a bunch of typists or
            expert MSWord users. The ICDL I know teaches people using the Microsoft Office
            suite, proprietary software.

            Now, if this is a NATIONAL Strategic Plan for ICT
            development, I don’t see how it even benefits the country when it means the
            entire nation will be taught to be customers of US-made proprietary software
            instead of locally made one and even free one for it means every year the
            country will be forced to buy Microsoft software because that is what folks
            were taught in this “ambitious” program. I simply describe it as one big plan
            to grow Microsoft’s market share in the country, by a government.

            Couple this with the fact that most of our
            universities offer ICT at graduate and post graduate levels, then your argument
            can only be to increase funding and maybe improve quality.

            There are extremely few universities in Zimbabwe and with
            very small enrollment. Producing even 2000 graduates with various non-ICDL  I.T. skills in Zimbabwe is completely insufficient
            as to be nothing! A computer science class at NUST alone has less than 100
            students annually.

            I have written about the Technopaks before. There is nothing
            at NUST. Folks who have lived and studied and work in Harare and have never set
            foot at NUST would not know what is there. THERE IS NOTHING!

            Now, the strategic plan is dated (2010 – 2014), we are in
            2012 already, almost half way, and there is nothing.

            I mean … Mugabe would have to work overtime donating
            computers putting in 36 hours into a day.

            It is not about just increasing funding and improving
            quality, it is about a major giant leap forward. Even someone 50 years old or
            someone without 5 O’Levels ought to be able to enroll for any programming

            Tos say that it “says nothing about
            IT skilling Zimbabweas.”is wrong. That makes you other post below equally
            untrue and recommendations false.

            I wouldn’t care if my post below is untrue and
            recommendations false. I wrote from what I know and have seen. I have seen
            Zimbabwe government officials talk of job creation meaning woodwork and metal
            work on TV. And I am not lying. I could have posted a link to the evidence but
            since it also contains some information this could end up being a political
            argument, which I don’t want to waste my time with.

            But if you want a link to something you can read this:

            Whatever the case, the thing is just another useless populist

            I hope you also read p34

            SO3.3.3 Advocate for a PC per classroom
            for every school by Dec 2014

            If I had read “a PC per student” I would have been impressed…
            not “PER CLASSROOM”!!!! …. The teacher’s!

            I prophecy that by December 2014 nothing would have been
            achieved except that was going to be achieved anyway, like donating computers
            which Mugabe has been doing even before this genius “plan”.


            1. Chanyani

              Its good that you at least agree with the fact that you commeted before you had all the facts. Unfortunately you go on to over exchanrage issues (i.e. there is nothing at NUST etc.) Standards have gone down generally. I happen to have been involved with the inception programmes at NUST and some of my undergraduates are PhDs through out the world. The undergraduate programmes we ran there never required any of our students to undergo a bridging class when they pursues higher post grad studies in some of the best universities in the world. I believe that this is still the case (I have confirmed from one of the lectureres who attended some of my lectures more than 15 years ago).

              On the ICLD side, this is a opensource versus propritary software argument. To argue that theose who follow open one route do not contribute to national development does not add value. You obviuosly do not fully appreciate the contribution of ICLD to creating user driven desktop applications. ICDL is not an end on its own. It forme a credible base for non computer science staff to be introduced to using tools that can be developed to do a fair amount of data analysis (i.e. Excel and access). I have come accross staff who have used these tools to do some amazing things. A friend of mine is creating traffic simulation applications that he is using in turning around rail and port traffic in ECOWAS. He got introduced to computing through ICDL.
              I agree with you that one pc per student is more of an acceptable. But I think that not all approaches to development go throug a  Big Hairy Adacious Goal (BHAG) strategy. others use the small wins approach and focus on incremetal adjustments all the way. With stamina and resources, they end up delivering.

              As for your comment that you don’t care whether your post is untrue and your recommendations false I can only respond by say we see the world through different views. In my view, I care that I give a balanced argument and make true recommendations. I make a living providing consultancy services, so to me truth and correctness are core values I thrive for. When I miss the point, I welcome corrections.

      3. JamesM

        Looking at that strategic plan, the very first item – Infrastructure establishment …, with an emphasis on infrastructure is were current IT efforts should be expended the most. The rest of the strategic items hinge on the success of the first one. That means wider and easily accessible data and internet services to as many as possible. Removing national policy hurdles that discourage a Vodacom, an MTN or an Airtel coming into town and setting up shop. More competition = lower prices.

        Zimbabwe has a very literate population, and with the right infrastructure, absorption of IT trends and technologies lend itself naturall, even if formal IT training is not that great. India doesn’t have world famous colleges like cartridge or Harvard, but look at the top-notch programmers it churns out.

        2014 is coming up soon, we’ll see how well that plan measured up to its espoused intents

    2. Prosper Chikomo

       The government of Zimbabwe actively promotes the use of local resources and locally relevant skills so you can get a job in no time upon leaving school. This means things like woodwork, metalwork, arts and crafts etc.

      What then does it mean to an IT professional in Zim?

      That means the IT professional must dump IT and take jobs like woodwork and start a multinational corporation from Siyaso Industries that will bring billions of dollars in “much needed” foreign currency through furniture exports.

      1. JamesM

        Do we still need foreign currency? If we are trading in the green-back which other ‘foreign’ currency would we ever want? And as for dumping IT for woodwork, now you didn’t seriously mean that did you? Naaaa I don’t think so.

        1. Marek

          Of course the country still needs forex (USD, EUR, ZAR, GBP, etc). Many people misunderstand the use of US dollars in the country to mean that we no longer need to earn ‘forex’ from exports. Do you realise that without continued exports the country would soon run out of foreign notes and coins to circulate because of the need for imports (fuel, electricity, machinery, spare parts, and now even groceries). I would say the country needs to earn even more forex now than it did previously.