Google and Liquid Technologies team up to bridge Africa’s digital divide

29 May, 2024 - 16:05 0 Views
Google and Liquid Technologies team up to bridge Africa’s digital divide Liquid Intelligent Technologies

eBusiness Weekly

Business Writer

Tech giant Google and pan-African technology leader Liquid Technologies have announced a groundbreaking partnership to bolster digital connectivity and security across Africa. This strategic collaboration, dubbed “Umoja” (meaning “unity” in Swahili), aims to unlock economic growth and build a more resilient digital infrastructure for the continent.

Umoja marks a historic first: a dedicated fiber optic cable directly linking Africa with Australia. The ambitious route, anchored in Kenya, will traverse several African nations (Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa) before reaching Australia across the Indian Ocean. Notably, the Umoja cable will integrate with the existing Google Cloud region and offer access points for additional countries to join the network.

This new route strengthens Africa Connect, a broader initiative that also includes the Equiano cable. Umoja’s significance lies in its ability to create a more reliable network, especially crucial for a region prone to high-impact outages. It will significantly enhance how African countries connect with each other and the rest of the world.

Dr Strive Masiyiwa, the founder and chairman of Liquid Technologies, highlighted the transformative impact of Umoja.

“Africa’s major cities, including Nairobi, Kampala, Kigali, Lubumbashi, Lusaka, and Harare, will no longer be hard-to-reach endpoints. They are now stations on a data superhighway capable of carrying thousands of times more traffic than currently reaching these areas.

“I am proud that this project helps us deliver a digitally connected future that leaves no African behind,” he said.

Meg Whitman, the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, underscored the significance of reliable digital infrastructure for economic growth.

“This is a meaningful moment for Kenya’s digital transformation journey. The benefits of today’s announcement will cascade across the region,” she said.

Kenya’s President William Ruto welcomed Google’s investment, calling it a historic milestone for Kenya, Africa, and Australia.

“The new intercontinental fibre optic route will significantly enhance our global and regional digital infrastructure, ensuring redundancy and resilience, especially in light of recent disruptions caused by cuts to sub-sea cables. By strengthening our digital backbone, we are improving reliability and paving the way for increased digital inclusion, innovation, and economic opportunities for our people and businesses,” he said.

Australia’s Communications Minister Michelle Rowland praised the initiative for diversifying Australia’s connectivity and supporting global digital inclusion.

“Australia welcomes Google’s investment and congratulates all those involved in undertaking this crucial initiative,” Rowland added.

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