Named in honor of Olaudah Equiano, a writer and former slave of Nigerian origin, the Equiano cable is an infrastructure that should offer approximately 20 times more network capacity than the last cables built to serve the continent.
Nitin Gajria, general manager of the sub-Saharan Africa branch at Google is expected in Lome on March 18 to launch the Equiano cable, several sources familiar with the matter confirmed to Togo First. Togo will thus become the first African country to host this submarine cable, Equiano, a place that was reserved for Nigeria.
The internet giant’s vast network infrastructure project to connect Europe to Africa, the deployment of this submarine cable was expected for 2021, but the schedule has experienced several disruptions due to due diligence. The cable, the construction of which has been entrusted to the French Alcatel Submarine Networks, a subsidiary of Nokia, will depart from Lisbon in Portugal to go to Cape Town in South Africa.
“Equiano, a Google-funded next-generation undersea internet cable, will run from Portugal to South Africa along Africa’s Atlantic Ocean coast. In 2022, it should land in Sesimbra (Portugal), Lomé (Togo), Lagos (Nigeria), Swakopmund (Namibia) and Cape Town (South Africa), with connections in place for the following phases of the project. Last year, the cable landed in Ruperts Bay (Saint Helena),” said Togo First, a source at Google.
With the arrival of Equiano, Togo will now be supplied by two submarine cables, the first being the West African Submarine Cable (WACS) inaugurated in 2012. In addition, Maroc Telecom, which owns Moov Africa, has since received last year, the green light from the Togolese government to also deploy its submarine cable. This should connect Casablanca to Lomé.