Google announces 'first-ever' Africa-Australia cable

Google announces 'first-ever' Africa-Australia cable

Google has announced Umoja, which it says is the first-ever fibre optic route to directly connect Africa with Australia. Anchored in Kenya, the Umoja cable route will pass through Uganda, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, including the Google Cloud region, before crossing the Indian Ocean to Australia.

Umoja’s terrestrial path was built in collaboration with Liquid Intelligent Technologies to form what is described as a highly scalable route through Africa, including access points that will allow other countries to take advantage of the network.

Google says that Umoja, which is the Swahili word for unity, joins another of its cable ventures, Equiano, in an initiative called Africa Connect.

Googles adds that Umoja will enable African countries to more reliably connect with each other and the rest of the world, pointing out that establishing a new route distinct from existing connectivity routes is critical to maintaining a resilient network for a region that has historically experienced high-impact outages.

The venture has been welcomed by a number of dignitaries, including the US Ambassador to Kenya, the President of the Republic of Kenya, the Australian Minister for Communications, and Strive Masiyiwa, Chairman and founder of Liquid Intelligent Technologies.

Masiyiwa says: “Africa’s major cities including Nairobi, Kampala, Kigali, Lubumbashi, Lusaka, and Harare, will no longer be hard-to-reach endpoints remote from the coastal landing sites that connect Africa to the world. They are now stations on a data superhighway that can carry thousands of times more traffic than currently reaches."

In addition to the infrastructure announcement, Google says it plans to sign a Statement of Collaboration with Kenya’s Ministry of Information Communications and The Digital Economy to accelerate joint efforts in cybersecurity, growing data-driven innovation, digital upskilling, and responsibly and safely deploying AI for societal benefits.


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