Google and cable landing partner WIOCC – West Indian Ocean Cable Company – today landed in Lagos, Nigeria, the state-of-the-art Equiano subsea cable, which will become a critical element in meeting Nigeria’s current and future international connectivity demands.
The Equiano cable will start in Portugal in western Europe, run more than 12,000km along the West Coast of Africa and initially land in Lomé, Togo; Lagos, Nigeria; Swakopmund, Namibia; Rupert’s Bay, Saint Helena and Melkbosstrand, South Africa; establishing a valuable new high-capacity connection between the African continent and Europe.
Named after Nigerian-born writer and abolitionist, Olaudah Equiano, the Equiano cable will help support further digital transformation in Nigeria, a country which has produced five start-up unicorns (companies now valued at more than $1 billion).in the past five years.
Expected benefits to Nigeria from Equiano
A recent impact assessment study by Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics stated that once the state-of-the-art, high-capacity Equiano cable had become fully operational, anticipated later this year, it is expected to bring the following benefits to Nigeria:
- Increase internet speeds by a factor of six
- Reduce internet retail prices by 21%
- Increase internet penetration by six percentage points
- Boost GDP by USD 10.1 billion by 2025
- Boost job creation by 1.6 million jobs by 2025
- Save 2.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum
The Nigerian government has also stepped up its digital transformation programs since 2017. These initiatives have proven crucial to the success of many industries in the country, especially the startup space. But studies suggest that faster internet connections, better user experiences, and reduced internet costs will further accelerate these benefits.
Speaking at the event, Juliet Ehimuan, Director, West Africa at Google said: “Google is committed to supporting Africa’s digital transformation and we are excited to see the impact of the landing of Equiano in Nigeria. We’ve worked with established partners and in-country experts to guarantee that Equiano has the greatest potential effect in Nigeria and throughout Africa.”
“Equiano is set to make an enduring contribution towards the development of Nigeria’s communications infrastructure and today marks another major step in its development. We look forward to honouring our commitment to be part of Africa’s digital transformation,” Ehimuan added.
On his part, Chris Wood, Chief Executive Officer of WIOCC, stated: “We are proud to have been selected by Google as the landing partner for the Equiano cable in Nigeria, landing the cable directly into the OADC Lagos data centre. From there it will be extended to other data centres across Lagos.”
He added: “The Equiano cable will deliver improved internet quality, speeds and affordability to the people of Nigeria. However, for the benefits to be fully felt throughout Nigeria, hyperscale connectivity needs to be extended from the Lagos area to the rest of the country. To make this happen, WIOCC is also deploying a comprehensive, hyperscale national fibre network. The network will go live in phases, starting in June and continuing through to the end of the year. When combined with the Equiano cable this network will deliver transformational benefits across the country”.
Last month, the Equiano subsea cable made its first landing in Africa in Lomé, Togo, as a confirmation of the commitment made at the Google for Africa 2021 event to help increase internet access across Africa.