Kibaki’s letter gave birth to Kenya’s famed Silicon Savannah

The Minister for Information Samuel Poghisio (left) and Permanent Secretary Dr. Bitange Ndemo (right) hold a huge buoy as President Kibaki (second right) looks on, and Prime Minister Raila Odinga (second left) signs the buoy to mark the arrival of the Teams Kenya Limited Fibre Optic marine cables in Mombasa at the Fort Jesus sea front on June, 12 2009. PHOTO | GIDEON MAUNDU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Leaders made the crucial decision to abandon satellites and join the global fibre optic network. Today, a decade later, Kenya enjoys faster internet speeds than the US.

  • Construction started in January 2008 on the Emirates side. On June 12, 2009, the TEAMS cable arrived in Mombasa and President Kibaki, Prime Minister Odinga and other dignitaries launched it.

President Mwai Kibaki was in his office at State House. It was early 2008 and he had a lot to mull over in his in-tray, not the least of which was the post-election violence that was raging in the Rift Valley and threatening to consume his presidency and destroy the country.

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