20 June 2018

St Helena Government Signs Final Financing Agreement with the European Union for its Submarine Cable


SHG UK Representative, Mrs Kedell Worboys MBE, along with EDF Director for Latin America & Caribbean, Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, Jolita Butkeviciene
press release by St Helena Government originally published here

SHG is pleased to announce that today in Brussels at 2pm (GMT) SHG UK Representative, Mrs Kedell Worboys MBE, along with Director for Latin America & Caribbean, Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, Jolita Butkeviciene, signed the Financing Agreement for the Territorial Allocation of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF 11).

This is the final step in securing the territory’s funds from the 11th EDF. As a result, €21.5 million has been released to St Helena to support the delivery of the SHG Digital Strategy through the realisation of the submarine cable to enable faster and more reliable internet connectivity on the Island. Some funding will also go to both Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha.

Financial Secretary and Territorial Authorising Officer, Dax Richards, said:

“It’s great to finally be able to draw to a close a piece of work which has been four years in the making. This is a huge step forward for St Helena as it brings the Island ever closer to the realisation of significant improvements in connectivity and accessibility via a subsea fibre cable. I would like to pay a special tribute to the European Commission officials who have worked alongside of St Helena in the spirit of partnership and cooperation to secure this important funding for the Island.”

SHG is grateful to the support of the European Union who recognises the significant benefits that improved connectivity will have on the community. These include improved health care services, better connectivity, economic and social development as well as addressing issues of isolation.

 
High-speed broadband would be huge for education. Not only could we make better use of online materials, but with affordable broadband teachers could develop their practice from home.
I'm an IT engineer and I would love to return to my island to start an IT business, but because of the slow, expensive and unreliable internet connection this is simply impossible.
I had to leave St Helena to study. Being 5000 miles away from my family and friends is hard. Not being able to skype with them due to the slow and expensive internet on St Helena is even harder.
Socioeconomic status is now heavily reliant on broadband penetration. With the ever-growing importance of the internet, St Helena with its limited access is in danger of being left behind.