Equiano Google’s First Subsea Cable in Africa Lands in TogoRuth Torty 21st March 2022 0 COMMENTS
Togo will be the first landing of the ‘Equiano’ cable which will run from Portugal to South Africa. The Equiano cable is the new Google undersea internet cable connecting Europe and Africa. The announcement comes months after Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai announced a five-year $1bn investment on the continent. This transformation was reported to include landing a subsea cable into the continent to enable faster internet speeds.
The Equiano cable is named after Olaudah Equiano, Nigerian born writer and abolitionist. This is not the first cable to be named in honour of an individual by Google. The Firmina cable, reported to be the longest cable, is named in honor of Maria Firmina dos Reis (Brazilian abolitionist and writer). The Dunant cable and Curie cables which connect Europe to the United States and Chile respectively are named after Henry Dunant and Marie Curie. According to reports from Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics, Equiano is expected to result in faster internet speeds, improved user experience, and lower internet prices in Togo. Internet speeds in the country are expected to more than double from 10 Mbps in 2021 to 21 Mbps in 2025, while retail internet prices are forecast to decline by 14% over the same period.
Cina Lawson, Togo’s minister of digital economy and digital transformation, said the collaboration further shows the country’s “commitment to enhancing public and social services for all citizens so that they can benefit economically”.
Major Telecom players in Togo, including CSquared and Société d’infrastructures numériques (SIN) will work in partnership with Google to manage and maintain the project in Togo. They will also ensure that the cable can reach more businesses and end users.
“We are thrilled that Togo will be Equiano’s first landing on the African continent, as it aligns with the country’s continuing efforts to promote digital inclusion for Africa,” Nitin Gajria, managing director of Google sub-Saharan Africa, said in a statement.
“We look forward to working closely with the Togolese Government and The Ministry of Digital Economy and Transformation as they continue to build their digital infrastructure.”
Between 2022 and 2025, Equiano should indirectly create 37,000 new jobs in Togo driven by the growth of the digital economy and peripheral sectors. The cable is also set to have landings in Nigeria and Namibia before a final landing in Cape Town, South Africa.
Ruth Torty is a biochemist, and freelance science writer. She writes to shed light on health issues, rare diseases and science research in Nigeria. She is also a creative writer and has published on different literary sites including Spillwords and Nnoko Stories. She is passionate about genomics and its role in healthcare.