In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Sitting in a primary school classroom, that little rhyme meant nothing to me and yet today, I sit at my keyboard on the island that, as a result of that voyage became the stepping stone to an exciting New World.
Five centuries have passed since Tenerife was a frontier society where spices, gold, fine arts and slaves were being exchanged; where fortunes were being made and plundered and where Europe and the Americas collided. But now in the 21st Century Tenerife is poised to once more become the axis between Europe, Africa and the Americas, only this time the links won’t sail on the ocean blue, they’ll lie far below its surface.
The ALiX Project has been proposed by the Cabildo de Tenerife in order to enhance the competitiveness of Tenerife in the global telecommunications market. Under the ALiX Project, Tenerife will become a Neutral Access Point for West Africa and the Canary Islands, developing cable connectivity between new and existing African and Latin American submarine cables and creating the southern gateway to Europe for telecommunications. In the process, ALiX will introduce competitive telecoms companies operating within the Canary Islands which will result in an improved consumer market.
The name ALiX is a homage to the Trade Winds and the ocean (from the Greek alx meaning ‘the sea’) which united continents 500 years ago in the age of sailing. Today, the AliX project will harness the age of telecommunications technology to re-create the role of the Trade Winds and the ocean, strategically and economically uniting three continents.
These are exciting times that we live in.