Google’s subsea cable, Equiano, arrives in Lagos on Thursday. The cable will provide approximately “20 times more Network Capacity” than the last cable built to serve the region. Google says/Photo: Google

Nigeria hopes for improved Internet as Google’s subsea cable arrives

Google’s subsea cable, Equiano, has landed in Lagos, Nigeria. The cable, named after Olaudah Equiano, Nigerian-born writer and abolitionist who was enslaved as a boy, connects Africa with Europe. It runs from Portugal along Africa’s west coast and will reach South Africa, with branching units along the way that can be used to extend connectivity to additional African countries.

The sea cable system will deliver twenty times as much network capacity as any of the existing systems serving Nigeria, the global tech giant said. This, experts say, means much faster internet speed, reduced cost, and greater access for Nigerians. The net effect of this is much-needed jobs and economic growth.

Equiano’s planned route and branching units, from which additional potential landings can be built to extend connectivity to additional African countries/Photo: Google

“Nigeria is sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economy. Still, the share of people using the internet stood at approximately 35% as of 2020 – double what it was in 2012. Across much of the country, people lack affordable, reliable & quality access, which limits their ability to benefit from, and contribute to, the digital economy,” Google’s West Africa Director, Juliet Ehimuan, said.

“Landing this cable comes as part of critical stages leading up to its deployment later this year, and it is expected to deliver up to 20 times more capacity than the region’s prior cables. We’ve worked with established partners and in-country experts to ensure that Equiano has the greatest potential effect in Nigeria and throughout Africa,” she added.

“A recent economic impact assessment conducted by Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics states that Equiano’s arrival in Nigeria is expected to result in faster internet speeds and significantly improve people’s experiences while online. Internet speeds in Nigeria are expected to grow almost sixfold by 2025, and retail internet prices are forecasted to decline by 21% over the same period. The same study found that by 2025, real GDP in Nigeria is forecast to be USD 10.1 billion higher than it otherwise would have been without Equiano and that the cable would indirectly generate roughly 1.6 million new jobs between 2022 and 2025.”

Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu speaking as Special Guest of Honour at the Digital Launch and Reception to mark the landing of Equiano sea cable systems in Lagos on Thursday/Photo: LASG

“There is much to be excited about, at a time like this in the unfolding history of Lagos State and of Nigeria. We are seeing an unprecedented inflow of investments into every part of Lagos, from local and foreign investors who understand the immense business and commercial potential that the State symbolises,” Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said on Thursday at a ceremony to mark the landing of the subsea cable in Lagos.

“With Equiano, we look forward to being an even more integral part of the digital transformation journey in Nigeria,” the Google’s director said.

Kola Tella

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