Facebook’s $1 Billion 2Africa project aims to bring better internet to the continent.

One of the world’s largest technology company Facebook, alongside MTN, Orange, Vodafone and China Mobile are joining forces to launch a massive underwater cable around Nigeria and 15 other African countries. The 2Africa project, formerly known as Simba, will bring high-speed connectivity to these countries. Facebook and its allies claim they are laying cables that will stretch to 37,000km (22,990 miles) and interconnect Europe (eastward via Egypt), the Middle East (via Saudi Arabia), and 21 landings in 16 countries in Africa.

The companies say they expect the project to be live by 2023 or early 2024. Once live, it should be able to deliver more than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables serving Africa today, with a design capacity of up to 180Tbps on key parts of the system.

Najam Ahmad, Vice President of Network Infrastructure at Facebook, said 2Africa is “a major element of our ongoing investment in Africa to bring more people online to a faster internet. We’ve seen first-hand the positive impact that increased connectivity has on communities, from education to healthcare.”

This isn’t the first time Facebook is embarking on such an ambitious project as this. In 2013, it launched Internet.org, an humanitarian effort to provide internet access as a basic right in emerging markets. But according to TechCabal Daily, the Facebook-centric scheme ran into problems as some countries accused Mark Zuckerberg of monopolistic and colonialist intentions. It could be different this time with Facebook’s broader, cross-continental base of industry allies. 

The big 4, Google,  Microsoft,  Facebook and Amazon now own or lease nearly half of the undersea bandwidth, according to Washington-based research firm TeleGeography. Google alone has backed at least 14 cables globally.

Richard Ogundiya

Journalist & Techpreneur. Africa, communications and data.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

The 44dbcollective Want You To Know The Revolution Will Be Televised

Next Story

Premiere: Dami Oniru’s New Single, ‘Nowhere to Run’, is The Antidote to Our Quarantine Blues

Latest from Technology