Special Reports

Last updated: 16 september, 2009 - 10:58 GMT

Connected Africa

Workers pull part of the fibre optic cable to land

The laying of new fibre optic cables brings broadband internet to Africa, connecting businesses to the global economy and individuals to everything the web has to offer. This is potentially the most important break-through for Africa in the new digital age.

BBC World Service looks at how fast will it happen and asks where, when and how? Who will decide? What will the impact be?

BBC Technology correspondent Rory-Cellan Jones is in Mombassa - the landing site of the SEACOM cable and he reports that there is a lot of excitement and some cynicism as well.

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There are huge expectations of how broadband interet could transform business and education and bring more development in Kenya.

But as Solomon Mughera, head of the BBC Swahili Service reflects, the arrival of high speed internet broadband will not be enough by itself to bring about a transformation.

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Meanwhile, Rwanda has big ambitions in the field of information technology. The country is still recovering from years of civil war and genocide and now, it wants to turn its agricultural based economy into one driven by IT with the internet playing a key role.

Madeleine Morris has been investigating this in the Rwandan capital Kigali.

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BBC African service editor Joseph Warungu believes the introduction of broadband will herald radical change.

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