Brazil is a fascinating country, very similar to South Africa and also very different. Both have tremendous beauty to offer — stunning landscapes, fascinating cities, and friendly people.
As I roamed around at the launch of Angola Cables’ new data centre in Fortaleza, I noticed a security guard hovering at the entrance to the building.
He was geared in a bullet-proof vest with a pistol holstered at his chest — a reminder that just like South Africa, Brazil is a country that struggles with crime.
Though it has seen a decline in murder rates from 83.48 per 100,000 residents in 2017, to 69.15 per 100,000 in 2018, the Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice still ranked Fortaleza as the city with the ninth-highest rates of homicide in the world in 2018.
To put this in context, Fortaleza has a higher murder rate than Cape Town – which had the eleventh-highest homicide rate in the world in 2018.
For the launch of Angola Cables’ new data centre, we were 5km away from Meireles beach and about five blocks away from the nearest beachfront — Praia do Futuro — a popular location for undersea cables to emerge on Brazil’s northern cost.
The launch was well attended, with government dignitaries and media from Angola, Brazil, Portugal, and South Africa represented among the guests.
The data centre forms part of Angola Cables’ vision to interconnect the southern hemisphere, and better connect the Portuguese-speaking world.
Angola Cables is also more than 50% owned by the Angolan government through entities like Angola Telecom and Movicel, and it is Angola’s instrument to establish a hub for Internet connectivity in the country.
Its ultimate aim is nothing less than for Angola to overtake South Africa as the premier location for undersea cables and Internet traffic exchange in Sub-Saharan Africa.
To achieve these goals, Angola Cables built and operates the South Atlantic Cable System which runs from Sangano in Angola to Fortaleza. From there it connects to the MONET undersea cable—which Angola Cables has a stake in—to link to Miami, Florida in the United States.
With its newly-built data centres, the idea is that Brazilian developers and content owners will be able to deliver their products to more Portuguese-speaking nations cost-effectively, while also opening up the Brazilian market.
Below are photos I took at the launch, and a selection of pictures taken around Fortaleza.
AngoNAP launch in Fortaleza
Jan Vermeulen was a guest of Angola Cables in Fortaleza, Brazil.