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Google Confirms Subsea Fibre Optic Cable From Australia To Kenya

(Image: Sourced from Google Blog)

With the aim to enhance digital connectivity in Africa, Google announced this week that it will build its first subsea fibre optic cable extending from Australia to Kenya.

The tech major is calling the project Umoja – the Swahili word for unity – and adds that the cable will be anchored in Kenya, and its route will pass through Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, before crossing the Indian Ocean to Australia.

Umoja joins Equiano in an initiative called Africa Connect. Google says that it will enable “African countries to more reliably connect with each other and the rest of the world.”

It noted that establishing a new route distinct from existing connectivity routes is critical to maintaining a resilient network for a region that has historically experienced high-impact outages.

“Diversifying Australia’s connectivity and supporting digital inclusion across the globe are both incredibly important objectives, and Google’s Umoja cable will help to do just that. Australia welcomes Google’s investment and congratulates all those involved in undertaking this crucial initiative,” said Michelle Rowland, Australian Minister for Communications.

As part of its commitment to Africa, Google opened its first Sub-Saharan Africa office in Nairobi in 2007 and in 2021 committed to invest A$1.52 billion in Africa over five years to boost Africa’s digital transformation. It has already invested more than A$1.36 billion in that region.

Google’s plans to enhance connectivity in Africa is bolstered when you consider that third party estimates show that Google’s products and services provided more than A$45.49 billion of economic activity across Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa’s internet economy also reportedly has the potential to grow to A$272.93 billion by 2025 – 5.2 per cent of the continent’s GDP, according to the International Finance Corporation.

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