Africa to get one of the largest subsea cable projects in the world to boost connectivity
Africa is currently the least connected continent, with just over a quarter of its 1.3 billion people connected to the internet. However, efforts are being harnessed to change the narrative. In this context, Facebook has partnered with leading African and global operators to build 2Africa, the most comprehensive subsea cable to serve the African continent and Middle East region. A transformational cable, 2Africa is one of the largest subsea cable projects in the world and will interconnect 23 countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.
On August 16, 2021, Facebook announced that it would extend the “most comprehensive” subsea cable to four more branches to serve the African continent and Middle East region. According to the consortium’s new statement, the plan is still to go live in late 2023. The consortium says 2Africa has made some progress, as a big part of the subsea route survey activity is complete. The Egypt and Mediterranean Seas connections are almost done, as well, the statement read. In addition, the marine surveys for the new sections are scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. The consortium selected Nokia’s Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) to build the new branches, bringing 2Africa landings to 35 in 26 countries.
“The significant investment by Facebook in 2Africa builds on several other investments we have made in the continent, including infrastructure investments in South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria and DRC. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of connectivity as billions of people around the world rely on the internet to work, attend school and stay connected to the people they care about,” a Facebook spokesperson said regarding the company’s continued investment in Africa.
A significant investment
“2Africa will not only be an important element for advancing connectivity infrastructure across the African continent, but it will also be a major investment that comes at a critical time for economic recovery. With more and more people relying on the internet, subsea cables are vital to ensure they are always connected to what matters. While Facebook invests in submarine cables to provide better experiences for people using our products, our investments drive a more cost-effective internet for all.”