Andrew Mthembu, chairman of i3 Africa, recently said that his company is planning to build an international network connecting all of the BRICS countries, and making South Africa the gateway into Africa for the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and vice versa.
According to i3 Africa, this network makes sense considering South Africa’s position on the African continent. Mthembu explained that all of Africa’s prominent international cable systems – including SAT-3/SAFE, SEACOM, EASSy, and soon WACS – touch South Africa, which makes the country strategically important.
All of the African countries which use the international cable systems for connectivity can therefore link into BRICS via South Africa using these cable systems.
“What is missing, and what is a challenge, is for South Africa to put forward a project which links South Africa with all of the BRICS countries to facilitate a better flow of information,” said Mthembu.
“It is for this purpose that my company has put forward a project, which is fully supported by the South African government, to do exactly that – link the BRICS countries.”
Mthembu said that they are well-advanced with the project. “We are quite confident that this project will get off the ground. We have seen a lot of interest from the BRICS countries for participation in this project, and to put forward money to make sure it happens,” said Mthembu.
Mthembu concluded that, with this project, we see an opportunity which will see South Africa playing a strategic role in being the gateway into the rest of Africa for the BRICS countries, and vice versa.