EAC & The HornNewsTechnology

Google’s Umoja fibre link to connect Africa and Australia

In a deal that is poised to reshape digital connectivity globally, Google has announced the launch of Umoja, the first ever fibre optic link directly connecting Africa and Australia.

Anchored in Kenya, the Umoja cable route will traverse Uganda, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, eventually crossing the Indian Ocean to reach Australia, the tech giant’s Vice President, Brian Quigley, noted in a blogpost.

This network will be developed in collaboration with Liquid Technologies, forming a scalable and resilient pathway across Africa, with access points for other countries to leverage the network’s capabilities.

“Access to the latest technology supported by reliable and resilient digital infrastructure is critical to growing economic opportunity,” stated Meg Whitman, US Ambassador to Kenya. “This is a meaningful moment for Kenya’s digital transformation journey and the benefits of today’s announcement will cascade across the region.”

The name “Umoja,” which means “unity” in Swahili, embodies the project’s vision of fostering stronger connections within Africa and with the rest of the world. This initiative is part of Google’s broader “Africa Connect” strategy, aimed at improving the continent’s digital offering.

According to Google, Umoja is set to offer a robust and reliable network for a region that has faced frequent connectivity disruptions, including recent internet outages reported in both West and East Africa regions.

President William Ruto has lauded the initiative, stating, “The new intercontinental fiber optic route will significantly enhance our global and regional digital infrastructure.”

“This initiative is crucial in ensuring the redundancy and resilience of our region’s connectivity to the rest of the world, especially in light of recent disruptions caused by cuts to sub-sea cables.”

Additionally, Umoja promises to pave the way for increased digital inclusion, innovation, and economic opportunities across Africa.

“Africa’s major cities, including Nairobi, Kampala, Kigali, Lubumbashi, Lusaka, and Harare, will no longer be hard-to-reach endpoints,” noted Strive Masiyiwa, Chairman and Founder of Liquid Technologies.

“They are now stations on a data superhighway that can carry thousands of times more traffic than currently reaches here.”

Read also: Google invites African startups to AI Accelerator journey

Google’s collaboration with Kenya

In addition to infrastructure development, Google is strengthening its collaboration with Kenya through a Statement of Collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Digital Economy.

This partnership aims to accelerate efforts in cybersecurity, data-driven innovation, digital-upskilling, and the responsible deployment of AI for societal gains.

Google said this latest investment is part of a long-term commitment to support the continent’s digital transformation. Since setting base in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2007, Google has invested heavily in improving connectivity and fostering innovation.

In Kenya, the tech giant runs Google Hustle Academy, a center which has helped over 3,500 SMEs in Kenya to grow through digital technologies. Additionally, Google’s AI Research Centres in Ghana and Nairobi, along with Product Development Centre in Kenya, are creating solutions to address challenges in Africa.

Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every month.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.