SEACOM and Main One, the only two privately funded and open-access based African submarine fibre optic cable systems, were awarded “Best Pan African Initiative” at the AfricaCom Awards 2011 ceremony held in Cape Town, South Africa, on Wednesday 9 November 2011. The award, which was also won by SEACOM in 2009, recognises an initiative taken by an organisation or a group of organisations to improve telecommunications services at a regional or continental level.

Commenting on the award, Mark Simpson, SEACOM CEO, said: “We are honoured to be recognised once again for our efforts in continuously extending pan-African connectivity by investing in infrastructure, products and services that meet the continent’s insatiable demand for bandwidth.

“This partnership shows our determination to find viable ways to extend our system with partners who share our vision of building the African Internet on an open and equitable basis.”

Main One and SEACOM announced in May 2011 that they had interconnected their west and east African cable systems to launch capacity services from PoP to PoP, from a STM-1 level and above. This partnership extends the Main One and SEACOM networks to create a system that offers connection between any SEACOM and Main One PoPs all around Africa.

Funke Opeke, Main One CEO, explained: “Through this partnership, SEACOM and MainOne have extended their individual cable systems to the opposite coasts of Africa without the efforts required to construct brand new routes.

“The ability to connect the east and west coast of the continent directly results in improved throughput but also provides a system around most of the continent which provides improved redundancy for telecommunications operators.”

Now in its fourth year, the awards are a serious recognition of the commitment and professionalism of these finalists to their core business and to changing the landscape of the continent, for the better. The ceremony forms part of the AfricaCom conference, a pan-African communications event now in its 14th year, which is attended by leading African operators, service providers, ministries, regulators and equipment and solutions providers in Africa. For more information on the awards, please visit