Google’s undersea cable, which is expected to increase internet speeds for millions of Africans, landed in Togo on Friday, the firm announced, marking the latest stage in a multi-year initiative to give cheaper access to customers throughout the continent.
According to Google, the Equiano cable, which is the first of its type to reach Africa, has twisted its way from Portugal and will increase internet speed for Togo’s 8 million citizens.
That might be a portent of things to come for other countries in the area, where internet use is quickly growing but networks are sometimes cripplingly slow and a drag on economic growth.
The new route will also stop in Nigeria, Namibia, and South Africa, with future extensions connecting to more nations in the region. By the end of the year, it should be operational.
According to a 2020 analysis by GSMA Intelligence, Sub-Saharan Africa remains the world’s least-connected area, with approximately a quarter of the population still missing mobile broadband service, compared to 7% globally.
The majority of West African nations rank towards the bottom of a global rating of internet penetration by the World Bank.
Last October, Google announced plans to invest $1 billion in Africa over the next five years to ensure access to fast and cheaper internet and will back startups to support the continent’s digital transformation.
Togo will be the first to reap the rewards. According to a Google-commissioned study by Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics, the cable is predicted to lower internet rates by 14% by 2025.
According to Google, the cable would generate 37,000 employment and $193 million in GDP in Togo by 2025.
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