Google has announced its underwater internet cable in Africa, will make its first landing in Togo latest this month.
The giant internet-related service provided first announced in 2019, Equiano is Google’s 14th investment in internet sub-sea cables but the first dedicated to internet access in Africa.
It is expected to travel from Portugal to South Africa and is part of the company’s $1 billion Africa investment that includes a $50 million venture capital startup fund.
An initial map of the project suggested it would branch first in Lagos-Nigeria, however, Cina Lawson, Togo’s minister for digital economy and transformation, said her government was able to convince Google that it should be Togo instead.
The “Equiano” cable, was named after Nigerian-born writer and abolitionist Olaudah Equiano.
According to a joint statement by the Togolese government and Google; would create improved high-speed and affordable internet access to millions of people in the country and West Africa.
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The cable will land in Togo’s capital, Lome, and is also set to have landings in Nigeria and Namibia before a final landing in Cape Town-South Africa.
Equiano is expected to add $351 million (pdf) to Togo’s economic output by 2025.
Togo has shown promise in adopting digital technologies in recent times. In 2020, the Togolese president launched a plan to strengthen social support and economic development by investing in technology. It aims to turn Togo into a tech hub.