Google to connect Africa and Australia with Umoja Cable Route

Google is building the first fibre optic cable connecting Africa and Australia, named as Umoja Cable Route and includes access points that allows entry for other countries through the network.

With a vision to expand its presence in Africa, Google has announced to build the first-ever fibre optic route to connect Africa with Australia.


Reportedly, the ‘Umoja Cable Route’ will anchor in Kenya and will pass through Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa and will then cross the Indian Ocean to reach Australia.

Google has collaborated with Liquid Intelligent Technologies to run it through most scalable routes across the continent, including access points that allows other countries to enter through the network and enable them to more reliably connect with each other and the rest of the world.

Representative image of Google Office from inside

Considerably, the Chairman and founder of Liquid Intelligent Technologies – Strive Masiyiwa said that Africa’s major cities including Nairobi, Kampala, Kigali, Lubumbashi, Lusaka and Harare will no longer be hard-to-reach endpoints remote from the coastal landing sites which connect Africa to the world.

He mentioned that there are now stations on a data superhighway that can carry thousands of times more traffic than currently reaches here.

As per the sources, the terrestrial part of the project is already complete. The hardest part of the work begins now, as the engineers channel the cable across the Indian Ocean to Perth, Australia. It is a complex task, so there is no confirmed timeline for the completion.

Furthermore, the search engine company – Google plans to collaborate with the government of Kenya on cybersecurity, data-driven innovation, digital upskilling and deploying AI for societal benefits.

Representative map showing Google Umoja Cable Route Project connecting Africa and Australia
Representative map showing Google Umoja Cable Route Project connecting Africa and Australia

However, the Department of Immigration and Citizen Services is already evaluating Google Cloud’s CyberShield solution for its eCitizen platform.

Google has made it sure to expand its presence on the African continent since the year 2007, when it opened its first Sub-Saharan Africa office in Nairobi. After that it then went on to the partner with governments from the countries across Africa on numerous digital initiatives.

Three years ago in 2021, Google committed to infuse $1 billion in Africa over five years in several areas, considering the improved connectivity and startup funding. From then, the company has invested more than $900 million in the region and anticipates to fulfil its commitment by the year 2026.

The search giant has also invested in other cabling projects, such as ‘Equiano’, which is a new private subsea cable that will connect Portugal and South Africa, as announced in 2019.

Equiano has started in Western Europe and runs along the West Coast of Africa between Portugal and South Africa with the branching units that are used to extend the connectivity to additional African countries.

It was Google’s third private international cable, after Dunant and Curie and its 14th subsea cable investment.

Notably, Google has already made its significance presence in Africa but this new undersea cable will extend its influence on the continent and especially in Kenya, where the engineers will anchor the cable.

Alphabet has invested significantly in improving the connectivity infrastructure worldwide to broaden its footprint. The emerging markets hold great potential, as Google estimates that in Africa, 300 million people will come online over the next five years.