Represented by public telecommunications asset company, Société d’Infrastructures Numériques (SIN), the Republic of Togo announced the landing of Equiano, a subsea internet cable running from Portugal to South Africa in partnership with Google and CSquared. With the announcement, Togo became the first landing point of Google’s Equiano subsea cable in Afrika.

It is expected that the availability and arrival of Google's Equiano subsea fiber cable will create approximately 37,000 new jobs that are much needed in the West Afrikan country and are likely to transform Togo economically.

“Broadening the access to high-speed internet is a fundamental part in our national digital development process as we strive towards achieving the objectives set out in our Digital 2025 Strategy. As Togo continues to earn its place on the regional and international stage as a digital hub and a favorable ecosystem for innovation and investment, our collaboration with Google and CSquared in successfully landing Equiano further demonstrates Togo’s commitment to enhancing public and social services for all citizens so that they can benefit economically,” said H.E. Madam Cina Lawson, Minister of Digital Economy and Digital Transformation for Togo.

Equiano’s planned route and branching units, from which additional potential landings can be built.
🗺️ Equiano’s planned route and branching units, from which additional potential landings can be built.

More bandwidth, more opportunities

Many studies have been conducted and much research presented indicating the positive impact of increased internet access in any country. One such study is by the World Bank titled "Enabling digital development: How the internet promotes development."

"For example, women with small children or persons with disabilities have sometimes been unable to engage in work outside the home, but can now engage in telework. Many poor or disadvantaged populations will now receive public services because governments can use digital IDs to verify their eligibility.b And skilled workers and small firms in poor countries can trade their services in global markets, where they can earn higher returns. These are all examples where the internet, by overcoming information problems, contributes to greater inclusion."

Equally, another study by Brookings highlights how the internet will produce notable cost savings in many sectors of a country's economy. This translates to faster productivity growth as well as producing lower prices for consumers, resulting in faster growth in living standards.

All this bodes well for the Equiano cable's landing in Togo as it will offer 20 times more bandwidth than any other cable currently serving West Afrika and it is expected that it will offer high-speed improved and affordable internet access for millions of Togolese and West Afrikans in the region. Furthermore, Equiano is expected to increase the West Afrikan country’s economic output by $351 million between 2022 and 2025.

Digital transformation

Equiano is vital and plays a strategic part in supporting Togo’s ambitious digitalization plans.

Togo currently ranks as the sixth-best country in Africa regarding ease of doing business and Equiano, once switched on, will offer 20 times more bandwidth than any other cable currently serving West Africa, helping the country attract even more investments and further boosting its vibrant startup culture. According to an economic impact assessment of Equiano in Togo from Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics, it is estimated that the subsea cable will add approximately 37,000 new jobs between 2022 and 2025, and increase Togo's economic output by an additional USD 351 million during the same period.

Equiano’s landing in Togo will not only strengthen Togo’s ability to successfully build and support digital infrastructure that will reap long-term positive economic benefits for Togo, but it will also additionally yield benefits for its West African neighbors.

“CSquared is honored to be part of Togo’s Digital Strategy, a strategy focused on social inclusion and economic development that will transform the economy with accessible, safe and affordable broadband, across gender, and geography. CSquared Woezon, our joint venture with Société d’Infrastructures Numériques [SIN] will put in place the next generation of connected infrastructure on which the digital ecosystem, the economy and the government can ride. Beyond the landing of Google's Equiano in Togo, the JV will also manage and rollout Fiber Metros and National Backbone across the country, moving Togo forward on its quest to become a digital hub in West Africa with connectivity into neighboring countries, Ghana, Benin and Burkina Faso," said Lanre Kolade, Group Chief Executive Officer of CSquared.

— By Tefo Mohapi

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