Hiking South Carolina’s Blue Wall

first_imgPhoto courtesy BRENDA WILEYMy pace picked up to a brisk trudge when I started to hear the roar of Carrick Creek Falls, at the eastern end of the Foothills Trail in South Carolina’s Table Rock State Park. More, even, than the usual post-trek treats—beer, real meal, real bed—I wanted a good soak in that chilly water. I’d underestimated the Foothills. I’d figured a thru-hike would be no problem for a recently transplanted Floridian because, after all, it’s just the foothills—not really the mountains, mostly in reputedly tame South Carolina. But by the end I was footsore and battered. I was exhausted. I was done.And yet, even before slipping into the swimming hole beneath the falls, I realized that I wasn’t. Done, that is. Not if I wanted to walk all of the foothills. Why stop at Table Rock when it’s practically neighbors with Caesar’s Head and Jones Gap state parks, which together form the 13,000-acre Mountain Bridge Wilderness, home of some of the best trails in the state? The forests there are just as lush, the hills just as steep, the creeks and rivers just as clear and tumbling. And then there’s the name, Foothills, which fails to capture the drama and difficulty of the landscape, fails to give fair warning to hikers. The better, alternate term for the southern escarpment of the Appalachian Mountains is the one reportedly favored by Cherokees, the Blue Wall. That’s what it looks like from the flatlands, where it’s also clear that Table Rock is closer to the midpoint than the end. Nothing against the existing, 77-mile trail, which, according to the Foothills Trail Conference website, Backpacker has ranked as “one of the best long trails in the country.” It’s just that it could so easily be a little better, a little longer—about 90 miles. I can almost picture the thru-hike patch, because I already have the name: The Blue Wall Trek.That wall defines the region’s climate, which defines everything else about it. Moist air cools with the sudden rise in elevation, releasing about 80 inches of rain per year. The resulting temperate rainforest supports a vast variety and abundance of plant and animal life, including the rare Oconee Bell wildflower and one of the densest black bear populations in the East. Rain, of course, also means rivers. The Foothills crosses and/or follows five of them and passes several spectacular waterfalls, including the 411-foot Upper Whitewater Falls. Four of these rivers flow into the famously clear and sparsely developed Lake Jocassee.South Carolina’s Lake Jocassee is situated along the Blue Ridge escarpment. Just Askew Photography.Despite all these attractions and Foothills’ stellar reputation, it’s hardly overrun. On a 20-mile day on my June thru-hike—a day walking among the column-straight trunks of tulip poplars and red oaks, crossing rapids on discrete but well-engineered bridges and regularly catching shimmering views of Jocassee—I encountered two parties of boaters and precisely zero other hikers.The trail climbs several ridges between river basins but only one real peak, 3,563-foot Sassafras Mountain, the highest point in South Carolina. The standard Foothills route heads southeast from there to Table Rock, a 10-mile stretch that on a clear day offers a spectacular view from a clearing below the summit of Pinnacle Mountain. But the day I crossed this bald was not clear and, in the mist, the fire-scarred landscape with its eroded trench of a trail reminded me of nothing more than a World War I battlefield. This stretch is being rerouted and the forest will quickly recover and ultimately benefit from last fall’s forest fires, said Heyward Douglass, executive director of the Foothills Trail Conservancy.Courtesy Foothills Trail Conservancy.And I have to admit that the route I followed from Sassafras to complete the Blue Wall Trek, tracing the state line and therefore blazed alternately with Clemson University orange and University of North Carolina blue, is initially short on scenery and also shows the effects of the fires—wide swaths of charred understory and mazes of fire breaks. I must also admit that this stretch has already been designated as part of a Foothills spur that leads 14.2 miles to a trailhead on U.S. 276 in Caesar’s Head State Park.But, unaccountably, the spur bypasses one of the park’s main attractions, 420-foot Raven Cliff Falls. About 12 miles from Sassafras, I turned right on the Naturaland Trust Trail and followed its Pepto-Bismol-colored blazes to the dizzying, deafening crossing on a suspension bridge over one of the fall’s main drops. From there, the attractions come along as fast as fence posts on a highway: the 120-foot-high cliff face known as The Cathedral, a deep valley shaded by mature hardwoods and speckled with wild hydrangeas, sparkling Mathews Creek. I pitched my tarp near the creek crossing—at a campsite reserved in advance because it lies within a state park—and in the morning was greeted by a Foothills-worthy, 1,300-foot climb on the Dismal Trail. A short spur at the top leads to the Raven Cliff Falls observation deck.The Foothills Trail as it crosses Matthews Creek. Photo courtesy BRENDA WILEYI walked on to the trailhead at U.S. 276 and crossed the road into Jones Gap State Park, which offers several good options for the hike’s last leg. I chose the 5.3-mile route that includes Coldspring Branch Trail, partly because it starts with a gentle climb over a hillside carpeted with ferns. Also, the Blue Ridge escarpment is all about water and the Coldspring trail—following its namesake creek and crossing tributaries—gives hikers a closeup, start-to-finish view of a mountain stream as it grows and gathers momentum before flowing into the Middle Saluda River. This brings the hike’s total inventory of landmark rivers to an even half-dozen. And though the competition is fierce, the Middle Saluda’s massive boulders, impressive drops, and inviting pools, might make it the most spectacular of the lot.The final stretch along the river follows the historic path of the Jones Gap Road through the mountains. As I neared the park’s log-and-stone visitor’s center, I noticed the river widening and the gap’s walls sloping downward. I felt as if I had reached the natural end of not just of my hike but of a region of high, wild, and watery landscape, the end of the Blue Wall. I felt as if I deserved a patch.last_img read more

US election 2020: Donald Trump’s speech fact-checked

first_imgUS election 2020 live results Related Topics Trump: “They mailed out tens of millions of unsolicited ballots without any verification measures.” To take another example, Nevada has a Republican secretary of state overseeing its election. Link box banner bottom

Ravens pound Steelers 35-7

first_imgThe best team in football just got their lunch handed to them 35-7. Now they must regroup, put this game behind them and get back to the basics. The Steelers arch rival Baltimore Ravens beat them in every capacity of the game, defense, offense, and special teams. It was like watching an NFL team against a college team. But with all that said, it was just one game, and one loss, now they must move on, put this game behind them and get ready to host the reorganized Seattle Seahawks this weekend at Heinz Field. HUNGRY BIRD—Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis reacts after intercepting a pass by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the second half in Baltimore, Sept. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) The Seahawks won the NFC West last season with a 7-9 record and many people pick them to repeat this season, but with a much better record. Gone however, is long time quarterback Matt Hasselbeck who replaced Vince Young in Tennessee. Minnesota Vikings castoff Tarvaris Jackson is the new signal caller in Seattle, however, he didn’t look very impressive in his debut.Ted Ginn Jr. returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns in a minute’s span late in the fourth quarter and the San Francisco 49ers gave coach Jim Harbaugh a 33-17 victory over the visiting Seahawks in his much-hyped NFL debut and renewed coaching rivalry with Seattle’s Pete Carroll.Ginn ran a kickoff back 102 yards moments after the Seahawks had closed within 19-17. It was the second-longest kick return at home and fourth-longest in team history.Jackson threw a late 55-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin, who played for Harbaugh at Stanford. Jackson was 21 of 37 for 197 yards, 2 touchdowns and one interception. Neither team was impressive on offense or defense, take away the two run backs, and the score would have been 19-17.The running game wasn’t very impressive either with Marshawn Lynch only picking up 33 yards on 13 carries. This was a contest in which two weak teams did battle and one had to win. The Steelers should have no problem getting back on track against Seattle, they have absolutely nothing in comparison with the Steelers. But that’s why the play the game.“That’s pretty easy to assess, Ladies and Gentlemen. We got handled in all three phases today,” Coach Mike Tomlin said in addressing his teams’ performance. “We accept responsibility for the plays that we made and didn’t make. We compliment them at the same time for the way that they performed in all areas. Obviously, we have a lot of work to do. We didn’t stop those guys enough. We didn’t turn around enough ball carriers. We didn’t get off enough on third down. We didn’t create turnovers. We never found rhythm. When that happens versus a good team you’re going to get beat the way we got beat today. We don’t like it, but we accept it, and we’ll respond accordingly. No significant injuries to mention in the game. James Harrison went off, we’ll call it a knee contusion at this point until further review, but it doesn’t appear to be serious. All the others are bumps and bruises that go along with getting dominated the way we got beat today.”The Ravens, probably the second best team the Steelers will face this year, the first being the New England Patriots, were handed the game via seven turnovers by the Steelers.Ben Roethlisberger threw three interceptions, lost two fumbles on sacks by Terrell Suggs and lost another on a handoff exchange. Mewelde Moore fumbled at the Ravens’ 17 after a 22-yard reception and Rashard Mendenhall also fumbled. Suggs sacked Roethlisberger three times, ending the game with his third.Those seven turnovers helped the Ravens run over the Steelers, 35-7, their worst opening-day loss since Dallas beat them 37-7 to start the 1997 season.Although their overwhelming victory Sunday provided a bit of payback for their playoff loss coach John Harbaugh and his players have turned their attention toward this season.And Baltimore could not have possibly started it any better. Joe Flacco threw three touchdown passes, Halon Ngata led an inspired defense that forced the team-record seven turnovers, and the Ravens rolled to their most lopsided victory in a hotly contested series that began in 1996. Ray Rice ran for 107 yards and scored twice for the Ravens, who bolted to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and never let up.The Ravens got three takeaways in the third quarter to turn a 21-7 advantage into a rout.Ngata was the driving force Sunday, causing a fumble and deflecting a pass that produced an interception. Ed Reed also picked off two passes for the Ravens, who mercilessly harassed nemesis Roethlisberger.Roethlisberger had won seven straight starts against the Ravens, but in this one he was 22 for 41 for 280 yards and three interceptions.Flacco went 17 for 29 without an interception, getting the best of Roethlisberger and giving the Ravens an early advantage over their AFC North foes.In the past 51 games, only twice has Pittsburgh allowed a runner to reach 100 yards. Rice did it both times.One bright spot in the game was Mike Wallace 107 yards on 8 catches and Hines Ward grabbing 5 balls to bring him within 41 of the exclusive 1,000 catch club that only 7 others have achieved. Ike Taylor did a great job in shutting down Lee Evans. The cornerbacks can not be blamed for this defeat, they did an outstanding job overall.last_img read more

West ­Allegheny thrashes West Mifflin with Wildcat offense

first_imgWest Allegheny (12-1), a 6-time WPIAL football champion, wasted little time flashing and dashing its way over, around and through the West Mifflin (11-2) defense en route to 386 yards on the ground—mostly through the Wildcat —using a 3-headed rushing attack for a 34-8 victory and the Class AAA crown.West Mifflin barely had time to settle in before West Allegheny began its offensive assault. Sophomore halfback Chayse Dillon rushed for 121 yards and scored two first-half touchdowns; Senior Nick Halbedl rushed for 148 yards and two touchdowns and Armand Dellovade scored the team’s other two touchdowns.Defensively, the Indians contained 2,000 yard rusher Jimmy Wheeler.  It was the first time all season the junior star running back was held under 100 yards.Wheeler, maybe the fastest player in the WPIAL scoring 28 touchdowns, was disappointed after the game.“I had a good feeling before the game that we could move the ball on them,” Wheeler said.  “We have a very strong and powerful offensive line and I wish we could play them again.”last_img read more

Foul Tip…Opening Slayed

first_imgDick Groat, Barry Bonds and Andrew McCutchen at PNC Park. (Photo by Julio Torres)It remains slightly cool and breezy on the PNC Park playing field and I have just returned from the Pirates initial batting practice for the 2014 season. Pittsburgh appears not to be staggering out of the gate unsure of anything in 2014 but swaggering into the season.If attitude is an accurate barometer of success then this team will not back their way into the 2014 playoffs as they did in 2014. The Pirates will be crackin heads and taking names. Whoever the competition may be whether it is the St. Louis “Cards” or the Cincinnati “Redlegs,” Pittsburgh’s divisional NL Central rivals, or any other ballclub, the battling Buccos seem to be coming out of the gate ready to take care of business.During the opening pregame ceremonies, 2013 National League MVP Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen received his MVP plaque from former Pirate great Barry Bonds,(who won 7 NL MVP awards himself) and Dick Groat. Former Pirates and Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland presented the MLB manager of the year award to Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle. I was appalled and disappointed at what happened next.Although I along with everyone else expected it, when it happened it didn’t lessen the shock. The Pittsburgh fans booed former Pittsburgh Pirate and San Francisco Giant outfielder Barry Bonds when he was introduced as if he was their mortal enemy. There have been many players that have left Pittsburgh who were cheered heartily when they returned playing for the opposition. Jaromir Jagr and Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa immediately come to mind. There may have been a smattering of boos when Hossa took the ice recently in a Penguins 4-1 victory at the Consol Energy Center but nothing like the acid based and venomous boos showered upon Bonds.Bonds, with a ready smile, displayed no such feelings toward Pittsburgh or Pirate fans.At the pregame press conference someone asked Bonds whose idea was it for him to participate in the opening ceremonies? Did he approach the Pirates or did the Pirates approach him?He replied casually without a hint of hostility in his voice, “they [the Pirates] approached me?” When Bonds was asked why it was so important for him to be here he answered with both dignity and passion.“This was a wonderful city that I played for. I got to play for one of the best managers in all of baseball. I loved it here, Pittsburgh was a great town, a great city. I wanted to play with [Jim] Leyland for a whole career, but things change; it’s an honor to be back here.”It is sad and represents a black eye for Pittsburgh that love is short and hate lives forever.Courier Sports Columnist Aubrey Bruce interviewing Al Martin in 1995.Back in 1995 when outfielder Al Martin was patrolling the banks of the Monongahela for the Pirates there was a period when Martin was booed for no obvious reason. I asked him what it was like to be booed “just because.”He said: “I try not to let it bother me, but we’re all human and there are times that I become frustrated especially when people walk up to me and say; “you’re a bum you don’t deserve all of that money.” But in the end you have to consider the source.”As far as the game goes we are now in the top of the ninth, starter Francisco Liriano has long exited the mound and Pirates strongest closer, NL All-Star Jason Grill is now throwing “smoke” for the Buc’s.The Chicago Cubs are not expected to do much in the NL Central division this season and that makes them a very unpredictable team now and in the future. The game has remained scoreless through nine innings and Chicago has demonstrated to the Pirates along with their starting pitcher right hander Jeff Samardzija that they are a scrappy bunch.The bottom of the 10th has rolled around and “goose eggs” still occupy the scoreboard. Both teams have managed to eke out 5 hits and all of a sudden, wham! Neil Walker sends one out of the yard and presto, the Pirates win 1-0 and raise the “Jolly Roger” on opening day……great start to hopefully a prosperous and winning year for the Pittsburgh Pirates.Aubrey Bruce is the Senior Sports Columnist for the New Pittsburgh Courier and can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com or 412.583.6741last_img read more

Tumwater Roadwork: Desoto Street Stabilization and Rehabilitation Project

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by City of TumwaterConstruction is scheduled to begin on the Desoto Street Stabilization and Rehabilitation Project. Desoto Street will be closed between 2nd Avenue SW and Emerson Street SW for the duration of project, and a detour route will be in place. I-5 ramps will remain open during construction. The road closure is expected to last from August 6 to November 2, 2018, depending on the weather.Local streets within the proximity of the project are expected to receive more traffic volume than normal due to the detour. Electronic message boards and detour signs are installed along the detour route. Drivers are encouraged to find alternate routes to bypass the area.This project will completely reconstruct Desoto Street SW and 4th Avenue SW from 2nd Avenue SW to Emerson Street SW. Work includes replacement of the existing road base and surface, sidewalks, curb ramps, curb and gutter, a retaining wall, water line, storm and sanitary sewer infrastructure, and underground conversion of the overhead utilities except for the power transmission lines. The project will include construction of new features, such as slope stabilization, an uphill bike lane, fencing along the sidewalk (due to the steep drop near the canyon), architectural street lighting, and storm water treatment. The full road closure is necessary due to deep soil stabilization and deep utility work on this narrow road.This project is funded by a Surface Transportation Program Grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation.Sign up for “Construction & Traffic Alerts” to receive email updates about traffic impacts and service interruptions as the project progresses at www.ci.tumwater.wa.us/e-notifications.last_img read more

Port of Olympia Appoints Sam Gibboney as Executive Director

first_imgFacebook10Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Port of OlympiaThe Port of Olympia Commission is proud to announce the appointment of Sam Gibboney as its new Executive Director. Gibboney brings years of executive experience in community development, public works and environmental leadership to her new role. Most recently, Gibboney was Executive Director of the Port of Port Townsend where she provided strategic and operational management, of an 18-acre ship yard, three marinas, an international general aviation airport and a campus of historical buildings. “I’m excited for the opportunity to lead an organization with such significant economic impact,” said Sam Gibboney. “I look forward to joining the Port of Olympia team and getting to know the Thurston County community.”Gibboney joins the organization at a critical time in the comprehensive planning process. The Port adopted a Strategic Plan in 2017. Through the extensive planning and discussion, the Port Commission reaffirmed its commitment to serving as a change agent and leader in the following areas; creating economic opportunities, acting as an environmental steward, and creating and maintaining community assets. Gibboney will be expected to move the Port toward the ultimate goal: A More Resilient Thurston County. In addition, as the Port approaches its 100 year anniversary, the Port is currently underway with Vision 2050. The Executive Director will be instrumental in moving this, community focused visioning process soliciting input from citizens of Thurston County on the future of the Port in the next 30 years, forward.“The Commission strived for a great public servant to lead our organization with transparency and strong values,” said Commission President E.J. Zita. “We are thrilled to have Sam’s experience and leadership as we progress and change.”The Commission selected Gibboney following an extensive recruitment effort that included outreach to the community via an on-line survey, a public and an employee forum. Candidates from around the region and across the country were reviewed as part of the selection process.Gibboney, 57, will start work on January 22, 2019. She will be paid $175,000 a year.last_img read more

Kelly knows he can play better after ‘okay’ debut for Magnolia

first_imgMOST READ China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Curtis Kelly debuts for Magnolia. PBA IMAGESOn the surface, Curtis Kelly had a decent debut in the PBA, scoring 19 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in Magnolia’s 99-96 loss to Rain or Shine in the Commissioner’s Cup.But underneath that was a disastrous pileup of misses and mistakes as Kelly shot 8-of-20 from the field and went 3-of-12 from the charity stripe.ADVERTISEMENT Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew View comments Kelly, though, vowed to have a better showing in the Hotshots’ future games as they try to improve on their 3-2 record.“I thought I just did okay, I can improve, I can be better,” said Kelly Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. “My free throws were terrible, I have no excuses I just missed them.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“Those misses are inexcusable, I have to get better at that. If I made my free throws I probably finished with 30. I have to continue to be impressive and focus a little bit more.”Kelly’s biggest mistake in the game might have been the aftermath of his biggest defensive stop. Historic Ironman race in PH is underway; 4 Filipinos in top 10 early Lacson: Calamity fund cut; where did P4 billion go? Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding With less than a minute remaining in overtime, and Magnolia trailing 95-94, Kelly intercepted Chris Tiu’s pass to Reggie Johnson and immediately started a break for the basket.Kelly, on his way for a layup, got the ball stripped away from him after Maverick Ahanmisi swiped on the leather at the 18.1-second mark of overtime.The ensuing possession saw Tiu vindicate himself from the earlier turnover and drain two free throws with 16.8 seconds left in the game and give Rain or Shine a 97-94 bubble.“We played against the no. 1 team tonight and they played like the no. 1 team,” said Kelly who arrived in the Philippines on Monday and got measured in the PBA office on Thursday.“I think I’ll get better, I have no choice but to get better. I don’t want to get eliminated. I want to be in the playoffs, that’s my goal and if I want to achieve that goal I have to better and my teammates will follow.”ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

LDS Trains Journalists in Elections Coverage

first_imgParticipants commended the LDS for organizing the workshop, which they described as ‘timely.’The Lutheran Development Service (LDS) has trained community-based journalists and some of their field co-workers in capacity building, advocacy and elections coverage in Bong and Lofa counties.The training which was held in Zorzor, Lofa County was attended by journalists from the Voice of Reconciliation in Palala, Kpaii District, Bong County as well as the Alternative Radio and Radio Life in Zorzor, Lofa County.The training, which took place last month, was also attended by LDS field workers from Kpaii District, Bong County and Salayea District in Lofa County.LDS project manager Sam Flomo said the training was part of efforts by the entity to build the capacity of journalists to professionally cover the October 10 presidential and representative elections.The training, which was conducted under the LDS Integrated Community Empowerment Project, brought together journalists from nine community radio stations, including eight community members.The LDS, Mr. Flomo said, believes the media has a crucial role in maintaining the peace by the professional manner in which they will cover the elections.He said that the October 10 elections is a critical turning point in the history of the country and is therefore important for the media to maintain the public’s trust, adding that such can only be done if journalists are trained in elections reporting.Flomo explained that the LDS is interested in the peaceful conduct of the upcoming elections, and will henceforth continue to work with its partners including the media to ensure its objectives are achieved.The workshop, which was facilitated by Clarence Jackson, editor-in-chief of Radio Gbarnga and regional coordinator of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), spoke on the topics ‘Elections Reporting’ and the ‘PUL’s Guidelines for Elections Coverage.’The LDS field workers were also taught the various methods of advocacy including advocacy techniques, risk of advocacy and the role of the community.The journalists and LDS field workers were also trained on how to use social media effectively to impact their work in the various communities.The workshop also discussed the County and Social Development Funds and what role can the media play in ensuring the two funds benefit the various counties.Participants, meanwhile, commended the LDS for organizing the workshop, which they described as ‘timely.’For most of them, it was an eye opener especially the coverage of the elections on Election Day, and best practices in reporting election results.“I want to commend the LDS for organizing this training that has taught as so much about elections coverage,” Prince Mulbah from Radio Life said.Participants walked away with digital tape recorders, note pads and pens that were donated to them by the LDS.The project is being sponsored and funded by the Church of Sweden (COS).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

EASSy undersea cable on track

first_imgConstruction of the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy), a 9 900km-long optical submarine cable between Durban and Port Sudan, is expected to begin in mid-December after a group of development banks including the International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced a US$70.7-million investment in the project. The IFC said in a statement issued on Monday that it would provide long-term financing to the value of $18.2-million, while the African Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, Germany’s development bank KfW and the French development bank AFD would jointly provide the rest. The total cost is $235-million and the rest of the financing will be provided by a consortium of 25 private telecommunications operators, 21 of which are African and will be the cable’s main capacity users. The consortium earlier signed a turnkey contract with Paris and New York-listed network solutions provider Alcatel-Lucent to lay the fibre-optic cables for EASSy. “It is a major accomplishment to have finalised the loan financing of this complex project,” IFC chief executive Lars Thunell said. “This is a vote of confidence for the continent. The project will transform the African telecommunication landscape and have a direct positive impact on business in East Africa.” EASSy will link Sudan to South Africa via Djibouti, Somalia, Tanzania, Madagascar and Mozambique. It will have landing points in Port Sudan, Djibouti, Mogadishu (Somalia), Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), Toliary (Madagascar), Maputo (Mozambique), and Mtunzini in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province. Botswana, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe will also be linked to the system as terrestrial cables known as the Nepad ICT Broadband Network, which aims to free the continent from its dependence on expensive satellite systems to carry voice and data traffic. Nepad (the New Partnership for Africa’s Development) is the African Union’s blueprint for socio-economic development on the continent. According to the IFC, consumers along the east coast of Africa typically pay between $200 and $300 a month for internet access, which are some of the world’s highest and have an adverse economic impact. “As a result of the EASSy cable, prices for international connectivity will drep by two-thirds at the outset, and the number of subscribers will triple. Because the project gives open access to service providers, prices will fall further as volume and competition increases,” the IFC states.last_img read more