Headed to Africa? Emailing home just got easier

Cyberjunkies face a serious problem when going to Africa–most countries have slow and unreliable Internet service. I’ve been encountering this problem myself as I try to set up my upcoming trip to The Gambia. Luckily for some countries, a new high-speed fiber optic cable will provide quick access to the rest of the world.

The BBC reports that the first undersea cable serving East Africa has just come online. Now South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Mozambique have a dedicated connection to Europe and Asia. Email can then be routed through one of the nodes there to continue on to places like North America. The cable is owned by African company Seacom and was supposed to go online in June but was delayed because of pirates off the Somali coast.

The faster connection is good news not only for homesick tourists, but also African businesspeople and students, like the Tanzanian schoolkids pictured here, and will help lower the “information debt” of several developing countries.

Anyone willing to fund a certain Gadling blogger to check out the connections for himself? I’ll be happy to report back on my findings.