Google to Build First Subsea Cable Connecting Africa and Australia

Google has announced plans to build the first subsea cable linking Africa and Australia. Named the Umoja cable, it will connect Western Australia with South Africa, enhancing global and regional digital infrastructure.

Key Project Details

The Umoja cable will include a terrestrial route from South Africa to Kenya, passing through Uganda, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. This section of the project is being developed in collaboration with Liquid Intelligent Technologies. However, specific capacity details and timelines have not been disclosed.

Enhancing Connectivity and Resilience

“This new intercontinental fiber optic route will significantly enhance our global and regional digital infrastructure,” said Dr. William S. Ruto, President of Kenya. He emphasized the importance of this initiative for ensuring the redundancy and resilience of the region’s connectivity, particularly in light of recent disruptions caused by subsea cable cuts.

Collaboration with Kenya

Google will sign a statement of collaboration with Kenya’s Ministry of Information Communications and the Digital Economy. This partnership aims to accelerate joint efforts in cybersecurity, data innovation, upskilling, and AI deployment.

Google’s Commitment to Africa

The name Umoja, derived from the Swahili word for unity, reflects Google’s Africa Connect initiative. This follows the launch of the Equiano cable, which connected Africa and Portugal in 2022. In 2021, Google committed to investing $1 billion in Africa, and to date, has invested $900 million. Additionally, Google launched its first African cloud region in Johannesburg in January 2023.

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