Undersea cables: the Western Indian Ocean’s governance and security lifeline

Should African states do more to secure submarine cable connections in their waters?

Almost all international digital communications, from financial transactions to emails is made possible by undersea cables that cross the ocean floor. These cables are vulnerable to breakages and disruptions that can severely hamper countries’ economies and security.

Undersea cables are arguably one of the most important pieces of critical infrastructure. But their role in maritime security, governance and geopolitics is rarely discussed internationally and in Africa. This seminar will take up the issue, with a particular focus on the Western Indian Ocean. Speakers will signpost possible future risks and challenges for African states.

Simultaneous English–French interpretation will be provided.

The event is co-organised with the University of Copenhagen and SafeSeas research network.

Chairperson: Karen Allen, Consultant, ISS Pretoria


Denys Reva, Researcher, Maritime, ISS Pretoria

Raj Mohabeer, Officer in Charge, General Secretariat of the Indian Ocean Commission

Development partners
This seminar is funded by the Government of Norway. The ISS is also grateful for support from the members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union, the Open Society Foundations and the governments of Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
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