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Showcasing the impact of connectivity investment


Our client

Google was spearheading the next-generation Equiano subsea internet cable, which runs from Portugal to South Africa along the continent’s Atlantic coast, with additional landings in Lomé (Togo), Lagos (Nigeria), Swakopmund (Namibia) and Rupert’s Bay (Saint Helena). At 144 terabits per second, Equiano has 20 times the capacity of the last cable built to serve the continent.

The client’s mission

Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most underserved region in terms of internet infrastructure, hampering accessible, affordable and inclusive connectivity. As of 2021, only 36% of people on the continent used the internet, compared with 63% globally. Poor connectivity and under-investment in digital infrastructure hinder economic growth, poverty reduction, human development and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. 

The Google team required a series of authoritative economic impact assessments modelling Equiano’s expected impacts on internet connectivity and the economy in the African countries where it landed – as well as other markets that were under consideration for potential further phases.

Our support

Working closely with the Google team, we produced a dozen in-depth country-specific reports detailing Equiano’s contribution to quicker and cheaper internet access, accelerated economic growth and job creation, as well as reductions in CO2 emissions following the cable’s landing. We also produced a regional assessment comparing the cable’s impacts in Nigeria, South Africa and Namibia. Our support included:

  • Socio-economic impact reporting
  • Impact storytelling and visualisation 
  • Socio-economic impact scenarios and pathways

The results

Equiano’s launch in 2023 was a milestone for Africa, representing a new phase in the continent’s digital transformation journey. The cable’s landing has reduced reliance on older infrastructure and boosted network redundancy, helping connect people, geographies and businesses as the continent’s demand for data and connectivity increases rapidly. Our series of economic impact assessments helped Google showcase the expected effects of its subsea internet cable, boosting the cable’s public profile (see coverage by Quartz, Reuters and CNN). The reports and impact metrics have also been used by our client to engage key stakeholders, officials and industry partners to cement buy-in for this transformative infrastructure project.

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