Google has announced that its 12,000km Equiano subsea Internet cable, which landed in Nigeria in earlier this year, will become operational by December.
The tech giant said Equiano is now running through Togo, Nigeria, Namibia and South Africa, and is expected to deliver faster, lower cost Internet to the continent by connecting St. Helena, Togo, Nigeria, Namibia and South Africa with Europe.
Google disclosed this at the second Google for Africa event held recently, where it said over 20% of the $1 billion announced, last year, to be spent on the region in the next five years, has been deployed adequately.
The firm noted that a recent economic impact assessment conducted by Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics found that by 2025, the cable would accelerate economic growth with GDPs of Nigeria rising by $10.1 billion, South Africa $7 billion and $260 million in Namibia.
During the same time, Equiano should indirectly create 1.6 million jobs in Nigeria, 180,000 in South Africa and 21,000 in Namibia, driven by expansion of the digital economy and peripheral sectors.
At the virtual event, Google Chief Executive Officer, Sundar Pichai, disclosed the intent of the firm to establish a new Google Cloud region in South Africa – its first on the continent.
Pichai explained that the new Cloud Region would help users, developers, businesses and educational institutions across Africa to move more information and tools online, improve access options for customers and in turn, create jobs.
Managing Director, Google Africa, Nitin Gajria, said the firm is collaborating with governments, policymakers, NGOs, telcos, business leaders, creators and media, so that it can help accelerate Africa’s digital transformation.
Director of Google Cloud Africa, Niral Patel, said: “We believe in growing an open and healthy ecosystem of technology solutions to support Africa’s digital transformation goals, which leads to more opportunities for businesses. It is part of our company-wide ethos to respect the environment, which is why we operate the cleanest cloud in the industry, supporting sustainable digital transformation.
“Along with the cloud region, we are expanding our network through the Equiano subsea cable and building Dedicated Cloud Interconnect sites in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Lagos and Nairobi. In doing so, we are building full scale Cloud capability for Africa.”