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Africa-Australia link : New era of internet connectivity for Google

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Africa-Australia link : New era of internet connectivity for Google

Google is deploying the Umoja cable, the first-ever fiber optic link directly connecting Africa to Australia. The goal is to improve global digital infrastructure and foster economic growth. The Umoja project, developed in collaboration with Liquid Technologies, will enhance connectivity and promote digital inclusion across Africa.

Umoja cable : Project from Africa to Australia

This initiative is part of Google’s long-term commitment to Africa’s digital transformation. The American firm invests in infrastructure, cybersecurity, and AI innovation to support growth.

This agreement aims to revolutionize digital connectivity across continents. Google announces the launch of Umoja, the first fiber optic link directly connecting Africa to Australia. This project is set to improve global digital infrastructure, foster economic growth, and boost digital inclusion on a new scale.

The Umoja cable, anchored in Kenya, will traverse several African countries, including Uganda, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, before crossing the Indian Ocean to reach Australia.

Infrastructure to optimize digital transformation

This vast network, developed in collaboration with Liquid Technologies, constitutes an evolving and resilient pathway across Africa. It offers access points allowing other countries to leverage the network’s capabilities, stated Brian Quigley, Vice President of Global Network Infrastructure at Google Cloud.

Access to the latest technologies, supported by reliable and resilient digital infrastructure, is crucial for the growth of economic opportunities, said Meg Whitman, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya. This is a significant moment for Kenya’s digital transformation journey, and the benefits of today’s announcement will ripple across the entire region.

Umoja project : New pathway of connectivity linking continents

The name « Umoja », meaning « unity » in Swahili, embodies the project’s vision of fostering stronger connections within Africa and the rest of the world. This initiative is a crucial element of Google’s broader « Africa Connect » strategy, aimed at significantly enhancing the continent’s digital landscape.

By establishing a new route distinct from existing connectivity lines, Umoja can provide a more robust and reliable network to a region historically facing frequent connectivity disruptions.

Dr. William Ruto, President of Kenya, praises the initiative, highlighting its importance in strengthening the region’s digital infrastructure. « The new intercontinental fiber optic route will greatly enhance our global and regional digital infrastructure », he stated.

Infrastructure to optimize digital transformation

Beyond infrastructure development, Google is deepening its collaboration with Kenya through a declaration of cooperation with the Ministry of Information, Communications, and Digital Economy. This partnership aims to accelerate efforts in cybersecurity, data-driven innovation, digital skills development, and the responsible deployment of AI for societal benefit.

Google-Kenya : Partnership to strengthen cybersecurity

Google Cloud and Kenya are working together to bolster the country’s cybersecurity. The Ministry of Immigration and Citizen Services is evaluating Google Cloud’s CyberShield solution to strengthen the defense of Kenya’s eCitizen platform. CyberShield enables governments to develop enhanced capabilities against cyber threats, protect web infrastructure, and help teams build skills and processes that lead to effective security operations

Google’s long-term commitment in Africa

Google’s investment is part of its long-term commitment to supporting the digital transformation of Africa. Since opening its first office in sub-Saharan Africa in Nairobi in 2007, Google has partnered with various African governments on numerous digital initiatives.

Over 1 Billion USD invested by Google in Africa since 2021

In 2021, Google pledged to invest 1 billion USD in Africa over five years to support efforts ranging from improving connectivity to investing in startups. These funds aim to stimulate Africa’s digital transformation. Since then, Google has invested over 900 million USD in the region, with the remainder of its commitment to be fulfilled by 2026.

30 Billion USD generated by Google products between 2021 and 2023

This investment is already generating significant economic benefits. Between 2021 and 2023, third-party estimates show that Google’s products and services have generated over 30 billion USD in economic activity across sub-Saharan Africa. The continent’s internet economy has the potential to grow to 180 billion USD by 2025, representing 5.2 % of Africa’sGDP, according to a report by the International Finance Corporation.

Google empowers African businesses and entrepreneurs

Google’s commitment to Africa extends beyond infrastructure. Through training and certification initiatives like the Google Hustle Academy, the company empowers thousands of African startups to leverage digital technologies. Launched in 2022, the Google Hustle Academy is a five-day boot camp covering :

  • Leadership
  • Business Strategy
  • E-commerce

In Kenya, this initiative supports the growth of over 3,500 small businesses. « Australia welcomes Google’s investment and commends everyone involved in this crucial initiative », says Michelle Rowland, Australian Minister for Communications. Diversifying Australia’s connectivity and supporting digital inclusion worldwide are extremely important goals, and Google’s Umoja cable will help achieve them.

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