Google has a multi-billion dollar plan to build digital capabilities in Africa
Google has a multi-billion dollar plan to build digital capabilities in Africa

Google has delivered an undersea cable to Togo, the first West African country to offer commercial cellular service for 5G networks.

The Equiano underwater internet cable is part of Google's billion-dollar plan to boost digital skills on the continent, connecting it to the nation of 8 million people.

The cable will be extended to Nigeria, Namibia and South Africa later this year. It also connects Africa to Europe via Portugal.

The new cable should also help Togo double internet speeds by 2025. In addition to reducing internet prices by about 14%, according to a study by Google from Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics.

Sina Lawson, Minister of Digital Economy of Togo, said: “Our vision is to be a digital hub and we have to connect with each other. This cable gives us huge capacity. We can sell our retail capacity to other countries.

Once opened, the cable will provide 20 times the bandwidth of any other West African country. In addition, approximately 37,000 new jobs will be created by 2025.

"This internet speed puts you on a par with your peers in the Western world," said Vera Songwe, chair of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

Togo has the highest data transfer cost for content at $8.64 per GB.

Lawson said Togo hopes to attract new business and help grow the country's startup industry by increasing internet speeds.

Google introduces its new submarine cable to Africa

Togo is a logistics hub for West Africa, has the largest port in the region and is the headquarters of Ecobank Transnational and Asky Airlines.

The country plans to become a regional digital hub through the “Digital Togo 2025” national digitization plan, which aims to boost economic development through improved connectivity.

Google said: “This achievement underscores our commitment to the continent to support Africa’s digital transformation. This is in line with the country’s ongoing efforts to promote digital inclusion in Africa.

Togo was the first West African country to introduce 5G in 2020. Internet penetration in Togo has nearly tripled in recent years. From about 7% in 2017 to about 20% in 2020.

“At the end of the day, we have a lot of capacity that is very cheap and very fast,” Lawson said, and Internet access prices have fallen and the capacity available to homes has increased.

Previous Post Next Post