Google, in partnership with West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC), has laid a 12,000km subsea cable running from Portugal to the West Coast of Africa. The cable, scheduled to land in Lagos, Nigeria, on Friday 29, April 2022, will boost internet speeds by nearly six times, reduce internet costs by 21% and create 1.6 million jobs by 2025, the company said.
The high-capacity cable, dubbed Equiano, will run through Lomé, Togo; Lagos, Nigeria; Swakopmund, Namibia; Rupert’s Bay, Saint Helena and Melkbosstrand, South Africa.
The investment is among Google’s continued support for digital transformation in Africa. The company has recently invested substantially in the continent through various initiatives aimed at tapping into its immense talents and potential.
Google’s West African Director, Juliet Ehimuan said, “Google is committed to supporting Africa’s digital transformation and we are excited to see the impact of the landing of Equiano in Nigeria,”
The open-access subsea cable is expected to be fully operational in September and will be one of the swiftest internet connections between Africa and Europe.
“We’ve worked with established partners and in-country experts to guarantee that Equiano has the greatest potential effect in Nigeria and throughout Africa.”, Added Ehimuan.
Nigeria is sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economy. Still, the share of people using the internet stood at approximately 35% as of 2020 – double what it was in 2012. Across much of the country, people lack affordable, reliable & quality access, which limits their ability to benefit from, and contribute to, the digital economy.
”With Equiano, we look forward to being an even more integral part of the digital transformation journey in Nigeria.” Juliet added.
Across the continent, governments and private investors are continuously enhancing intent connectivity in a bid to improve the digital experience and include more users.
Just last week, Kenyan mobile services company Telkom successfully laid a 15,000km submarine cable running from France to Pakistan via the Europe-Asia route, finally landing in Mombasa, Kenya. This is Kenya’s sixth high-speed internet cable and is special for its connection to Asia and Europe simultaneously.