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Google's Umoja undersea cable will connect Africa and Australia for the first time

The Umoja undersea cable connecting Africa and Australia

Google has announced that it will be investing in a new fiber optic route called Umoja that will connect Africa directly to Australia for the first time. The route will also connect several African countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, adding connectivity resilience and redundancy.

The search giant said that Umoja means unity in Swahili, one of the major languages in Africa. The name is fitting as it will connect several African countries and also to Australia. Google also noted that establishing a new route is important for resilience, especially in a region that has experienced high-impact outages.

Commenting on the news, H.E. Dr. William S. Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya, said:

"I am delighted to welcome Google's investment in digital connectivity, marking a historic milestone for Kenya, Africa, and Australia. 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. By strengthening our digital backbone, we are not only improving reliability but also paving the way for increased digital inclusion, innovation, and economic opportunities for our people and businesses."

In addition to the infrastructure announcement, Google is going to collaborate with Kenya's Ministry of Information Communications and The Digital Economy to bolster joint efforts in fields such as cybersecurity, growing data-driven innovation, digital upskilling, and deploying AI for societal benefits.

One cybersecurity measure already being looked into is the Google Cloud Cybershield, which could be used to help defend the Department of Immigration & Citizen Services eCitizen platform.

Google hasn't said exactly how long it will take for this cable to be completed, but it did refer to a $1 billion commitment it made in 2021 and said that it hopes to fulfill this commitment by 2026, suggesting the cable could be ready by then.

Source: Google

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