On October 15, 2007, the first Ministerial Inter-Governmental Assembly (Ministerial IGA) comprising of Ministers responsible for ICT and/or Telecommunications in countries that are signatory to the Kigali Protocol, met in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The participants of the meeting approved the construction of a high capacity submarine cable system with the potential to connect each and every coastal and island African country, and connecting the continent to the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and India. They named the submarine segment, UHURUNET; the terrestrial segment, UMOJANET; and the holding company, BAHARICOM.
UHURUNET is the submarine segment of the NEPAD network, named in recognition of the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of Sub-Saharan independence from colonial rule as well as the importance of the cable for economic freedom in Africa. UHURU is a Kiswahili word that means freedom.
UMOJANET is the terrestrial segment of the NEPAD network, named in recognition of the spirit of unity in action among, and united action by all the stakeholders of the countries of Eastern and Southern Africa involved in the project. UMOJA is a Kiswahili word that means togetherness.
BAHARICOM is the name of the holding company of the submarine cable, a fitting Kiswahili name for a company operating an under-sea cable.