In order to break down the digital divide in Africa Facebook and some telecommunications companies are planning to lay a submarine cable to connect most of the regions of Africa and the Middle East to the internet.
The project implemented is called 2Africa, it will consist of a cable that will extend for 37 km (almost equal to the circumference of the Earth) connecting Spain, France and Italy to Egypt, passing through the Suez canal.
He will then touch the coasts of the Arabian Peninsula circumnavigating all of Africa and going back to Portugal, up to the United Kingdom.
In practice, it will go around Africa, connecting as many as 23 countries, including 16 on the African continent and 2 in the Middle East. Facebook says the work will provide three times the total network capacity of all submarine cables currently serving Africa and will be ready by early 2024.
The construction of this impressive infrastructure was entrusted to Alcatel Submarine Networks, owned by Nokia. Today Africa is the country least connected to the network: about a quarter of the population has access to the web.
Thanks to the use in large quantities of aluminum compared to copper fibers, the realization of the 2Africa project has been made more efficient.
“An important element of our ongoing investment in Africa to bring more people online,” said Najam Ahmad, vice president of Facebook’s network infrastructure. “An important element of our ongoing investment in Africa to bring more people online,” he concludes.
The infrastructure will allow nearly one billion people to connect to the network.
Facebook’s investment demonstrates Silicon Valley’s growing interests in Africa. The continent represents a high growth investment opportunity.