President Torra announced this morning that Catalonia will be one of the landing and intercontinental connection points for 2Africa, a subsea cable intended to expand international connectivity.
President Torra during the meeting. Photograph: Jordi Bedmar

The president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, announced this morning that Catalonia will be one of the landing and intercontinental connection points for 2Africa, a subsea cable intended to expand international connectivity. The 37,000km-long 2Africa cable – one of the longest, most comprehensive and significant subsea fibre-optic cable projects in the world – will interconnect Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

The project is supported by Facebook and major international telecom operators such as China Mobile International, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, STC, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC. Catalonia has been selected as a landing point for the subsea cable thanks to the digital infrastructure strategy pursued by the Catalan government via the Ministry for Digital Policy and Public Administration, which has positioned Catalonia as the leading digital hub in southern Europe.

The head of the executive stressed that this infrastructure will “make Catalonia a magnet for large-scale investment by global internet operators and providers, generate international business opportunities for the Catalan digital ecosystem, and help support Catalonia’s economic recovery and the creation of high-quality jobs”. The president stressed that the subsea cable presents “a unique opportunity for Catalonia to strengthen its position as a leader in this digital revolution”.

“The technology sector must be a driver of economic reactivation”

The president announced that Catalonia will be a landing point for the subsea cable during a virtual meeting with representatives of the digital sector in Catalonia. The Minister for Digital Policy, Jordi Puigneró, also took part in the meeting.

Torra stressed that technology is “one of the sectors that must drive Catalonia’s economic reactivation in the coming months”, emphasising the need to “leverage our enormous talent, ambition and resources to make the leap forward that Catalonia needs”.

“In recent years, Catalonia has emerged as a global technology leader – in part thanks to the Mobile World Congress, but also because of the strong IT business fabric and infrastructure around the region,” the president said.

“If we maintain a strong technology sector marked by excellence, that will also help us rebuild Catalonia’s reputation.” He assured the digital sector representatives that the Catalan government would do everything possible to support the sector and ensure that it is able to act as a driver of the Catalan economy.

Torra also welcomed the decision by the organisers of the Mobile World Congress to continue holding the event in Barcelona: “This is excellent news for the future – not only for the technology sector; it’s also a boost for our collective morale.”

In the context of the Covid-19 crisis, the president stressed the key role played by digitalisation and the technology sector, which he said has demonstrated that “we need to start thinking of technology as an essential sector for Catalonia”. The president thanked the representatives of the digital sector for their solidarity and support in tackling the coronavirus crisis and for the effort they have put into “keeping networks up and running and delivering an essential service” while not leaving any group isolated.

Representatives of ACEC, Altran, AMETIC, the Association of ICT Professionals, Barcelona Tech City, BSC, Cellnex Telecom, Cisco, CVC, Deloitte, Epson, Ernst & Young, EURECAT, Everis, Hewlett Packard, i2CAR, IBM, Indra, KPMG, Mobile World Capital, NAE, Nexica, Orange, Seidor, Telefonica, T-Systems, Vodafone, Xarxa Oberta de Catalunya, and the Network of Science and Technology Parks of Catalonia took part in the meeting.

The matters discussed will be worked on by the Digital Development and Talent Working Group of the Committee on the Plan for Economic Reactivation and Social Protection.