Read time: 3 minutes

Meta's 2Africa cable landing a windfall for African economies

By , Contributor
Nigeria , 22 Mar 2024
Meta President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg.
Meta President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg.

Meta expects that when the 2Africa cable goes live in the first quarter of 2025, it will boost African economic activity by US$37 billion in the "two or three years" after landing.

Nick Clegg, Meta's president of global affairs, made the prediction late Thursday while meeting with Nigerian President Bola Tinubu at State House in Abuja.

The Meta-led pan-African 2Africa subsea cable now has two landing points in Nigeria: Akwa Ibo and Lagos.

Bayobab (previously MTN GlobalConnect) landed the cable in Lagos' Lekki, while Equinix-owned MainOne landed it in Akwa Ibom State.

At 45,000 km, 2Africa is the world's longest undersea cable, connecting 33 countries with 46 landing points in Africa, Europe, and Asia when completed.

“It is an extraordinary infrastructure project,” Clegg said of the undersea cable.

He explained further: “We’ve invested so much in by far the world’s most powerful and extensive subsea cable to Africa with two landing points here in Nigeria, which wouldn’t have happened without the help of the President and his team.

“That itself will hopefully come on stream in the first quarter of 2025. And will enhance the connectivity and resilience of digital infrastructure in Nigeria and beyond. But it’s not just about cables, it’s also about people.

“You have to make sure that people understand how to use digital tools how to enhance digital literacy, and how to enhance particularly the use of our tools by small businesses.”

Speaking on leveraging technology to drive development in Nigeria, Clegg stated that the Meta platform digital programmes align with President Tinubu's vision for the digital economy, and that the AI aspects of the Meta services are now being redesigned to better serve Nigerian users.

“New tools will become available to creators in Nigeria between now and the summer so that they can earn a living that they can place ads for themselves. In the stream or in between different short-form videos. So I’m tremendously excited.”

He added: “And then of course, our AI is going through a huge change itself and the fact that we as a company, open source our AI technology means that researchers, developers, companies, and small and medium-sized businesses don’t need to build the AI infrastructure themselves. It doesn’t need to be even built here in Nigeria, we can be used for free. It’s something we’re very proud of.”

Daily newsletter