Google reveals first subsea cable connecting Africa and Australia

Subsea cables are essential for global interconnectivity, and as an added bonus they contribute to economic, educational and technological growth.

This is why Google has announced it is investing in the first fibre optic subsea cable between Africa and Australia, nicknamed Umoja, which will travel through east, central and southern Africa before diving beneath the Indian Ocean to reach the land down under.

The investment will also include upgrades to Kenya’s cybersecurity through a collaboration between the countries Ministry of Information Communications and The Digital Economy, and Google.

The fibers of unity

Many countries in Africa suffer from high-impact outages due to power constraints as a result of rapid urbanization without significant investment in energy infrastructure. The most common tactic to ensure demand does not outstrip supply is through a practice known as load shedding, where sections of the grid are turned off to preserve power.

The project is expected to help reduce internet outages, while boosting cyber resilience and eliminate current redundancies in network transmission across Africa. The blog post states that Umoja is the Swahili word for unity.

“Today, Google announced new investments in digital infrastructure and security initiatives designed to increase digital connectivity, accelerate economic growth, and deepen resilience across Africa,” said Brian Quigley, VP, Global Network Infrastructure for Google Cloud.

Google has committed to digital transformation in Africa by promising to invest $1 billion in the region over five years since 2021. So far, the company has spent $900 million and has provided billions of dollars worth of economic value through supporting economic growth, providing skills training, and supporting AI innovations in Africa.

Meg Whitman, US Ambassador to Kenya, said, “Access to the latest technology, supported by reliable and resilient digital infrastructure, is critical to growing economic opportunity. This is a meaningful moment for Kenya’s digital transformation journey and the benefits of today’s announcement will cascade across the region.”

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