Thursday, 07 January 2016 14:58

Connectivity in insular countries, a challenge in a globalized world

In a globalized economy, integration and regional cooperation are key, especially in insular countries, where specific geographic conditions challenge connectivity and infrastructure development. Within this context, the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), an intergovernmental organization composed of five African Indian Ocean nations: Comoros, Réunion, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles, works for improving the digital broadband offer and competitiveness, aiming at strengthening connectivity towards the rest of the world.

We are glad to announce the successful closure of the project “Feasibility study for improving the digital broadband offer and competitiveness in the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) islands”, in which we had the opportunity not only to contribute to the assessment of the viable connectivity options for the region, but also to understand some of the difficulties and challenges it faces.

The five islands share geographic proximity, historical, demographic relationships and common development issues. Broadband and international connectivity are crucial for accessing the global economy and increasing the countries’ competitiveness. In order to develop the best options for connectivity, the expert team assessed the conditions in all IOC member states and developed several connectivity scenarios, one of which was chosen as the preferred one. The experts also made proposals for the possibilities for future realisation of the chosen option.

We want to thank all local authorities, the IOC and the expert team for making this happen, particularly our team leader, Mr Claude de Jacquelot for his dedication throughout the assignment and commitment to the overall development of Africa and this region in particular. Although much more needs to be done, we are confident that this is an important step in the right direction for connectivity in the IOC region and will contribute to improving the livelihoods of people there.