New African

ROOF OF THE WORLD BECKONS KENYAN MOUNTAINEE­R

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Perhaps inspired by the example of Tanzanian Rawan Dakik, who became the youngest African to climb Everest, the world’s highest and most dangerous mountain, last year at the age of only 20, James Kagambi from neighbouri­ng Kenya will attempt to become the oldest African to achieve the same feat this year and conquer ‘the roof of the world’.

The 62-year-old has joined an all-Black team called the Full Circle (pictured below) at their base training camp in Nepal. They hope to become the first all-Black team to successful­ly reach the summit of Everest in about two months’ time.

Kagambi says he fell in love with mountainee­ring when he watched as seasoned climbers reached the peak of Mt Kenya in 1973, where they set off fireworks to celebrate Kenya’s first decade of independen­ce. “I knew that was what I wanted to do,” he says, but to earn a living, he worked as a teacher and later as a guide for mountainee­rs in Kenya and the Rwenzori mountains on the border of Uganda and DRC.

To prepare for the gruelling demands of climbing Everest, a mountain that has very often cost climbers their lives, Kagambi scaled Mt Kenya and the Rwenzoris several times and went on stiff climbs with heavy loads in the US, where he became the first African to scale Denali - the highest peak in North America.

The other climbers in the Full Circle team are Abby Dione, Manoah Ainuu, Eddie Taylor, Thomas Moore, Fred Campbell, Demond Mullens, Rosemary Saal, Phil Henderson, Adina Scott and Evan Green.

Google’s Equiano makes landfall in Togo

Google’s 2019 announceme­nt of a submarine cable that would connect to Africa was exciting news. In 2022, this has become a reality.

Although the cable was originally earmarked for Nigeria, the Togolese government so impressed Google with their 2025 digital strategy plan, they managed to sideswipe their competitio­n and became the first African country to receive the cable, projected to increase bandwidth by more than 20 times.

The cable has been named ‘Equiano’ after Olaudah Equiano, an 18th-century writer who was originally from what is now known as Nigeria. Enslaved as a child, he managed to purchase his freedom in London in 1766 and became a major contributo­r to the British anti-slavery movement.

The cable will span the west coast of Africa, travelling from its starting point in Lisbon, Portugal to Cape Town, South Africa, with branches to Nigeria, St Helena, DR Congo and Namibia on the way and more to be announced later.

The cable is likely to create around 37,000 jobs for Togo over the next three years and increase the country’s GDP by $193m.

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