Angola Emerges as Key Digital Corridor for Africa, Attracting Major Western Investments

Angola’s digital infrastructure growth attracts American and European investments, boosting connectivity across Africa.

Angola is fast becoming the digital corridor to Africa as more American and European companies look to spread their investments using subsea cables, data centres and local terrestrial networks to further expand their digital footprint using inland routes to reach East Africa, southern Africa, the Middle East and Asian markets.  

According to Angola’s Private Investment and Export Promotion Agency (AIPEX), Angola has seen a steady year-on-year increase in foreign direct investment inflows of US$ 3.8 billion in 2023, with investments from US-based companies increasing by US$ 1.2 billion in the same period. The upswing in investor confidence is largely being attributed to the Angolan Governments’ efforts to promote the digital economy by streamlining regulations, introducing broader economic reforms and fast-tracking digital infrastructure developments and technology opportunities.

Rui Faria, Executive Board member and Chief Commercial Officer for  Angola Cables, a global provider of network services and digital solutions says that currently the Angola Cables fibre network point is accounting for more than 70% of the internet and data traffic flows to and from Africa.

The high volume of data traffic and cloud connectivity is indicative of the growing interest from companies in North and South America looking to engage in trade and commercial opportunities in Africa.  Expansions in digital connectivity, which is critical to the economic development of many countries in Africa, is making this happen.

Rui Faria, Executive Board member and Chief Commercial Officer, Angola Cables

Being midway between the North and South points of Africa, Angola is a major data entry and exit point for much of the digital data and contents to and from sub-Saharan Africa.  Subsea cables such as the South Atlantic Cable System, WACS and Equiano offer an express link for companies to share content and data with networks in other parts of the world – at vastly reduced latencies – and costs, given that more data is being cached locally.  As evidence of this, Angonix – Angola’s Internet Exchange Point is now the 3rd largest IXP in Africa.

Faria says  the company is working alongside the Angolan government and its ICT industry partners to entrench Angola as a prominent digital hub to facilitate connectivity for countries across southern and central regions of Africa.   

Apart from WACS and SACS, Angola is also the landing point for cables such as the SAT-3 / WASC cable, ACE and the more recent 2Africa cable from Meta. All of these subsea cables play a vital role in carrying business, banking and financial data, news and digital content to and from Africa. The stable and secure Atlantic cable routes landing in Angola are opening up more West to East connectivity corridors that are essential to diversification and economic growth. Hyperscalers and other network service providers are using SACS as well as the Angola  Cables’ backbone and its partner networks to connect to Europe and Asia at lower latencies.

Rui Faria, Executive Board member and Chief Commercial Officer, Angola Cables

Faria maintains that although Africa still faces many social and economic challenges, increasing cooperation and collaboration between network operators, carriers, hyperscalers and data centre owners is helping to reposition Africa as a lucrative digital trading partner in the global economy.

What is so important for the future prosperity of Africa is the development of public / private partnerships. Such partnerships can help improve terrestrial and cloud network connectivity across sub-Saharan Africa and give more countries the opportunity to engage and stimulate much needed international trade and investment between Africa and the rest of the world.

Rui Faria, Executive Board member and Chief Commercial Officer, Angola Cables

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