Google to invest $ 1 billion for digital transformation in Africa
Investment in digital transformation will focus first on building reliable and fast internet infrastructure in more regions of the continent. Other areas of investment include supporting entrepreneurship and small businesses and helping non-profit work.
Earlier this fall, Google announced it will invest $ 1 billion over five years to bring Africa’s digital transformation in reality. The investment will focus first on building a reliable and fast Internet infrastructure in more regions of the continent. Other areas of investment interest include supporting entrepreneurship and small businesses, helping nonprofits, and building better products.
Google announced its new initiative at its first-ever Google for Africa event. The investment covers several critical stages.
Affordable Internet Access and Product Creation:
- A submarine cable connecting Namibia, South Africa and Nigeria will link Africa to Europe.
- A collaboration with Android and Safaricom of Kenya will allow the financing of smartphones with expansion plans thanks to other partners like Airtel, M-KOPA, MTN, Orange, Transsion Holdings and Vodacom.
- Plus Codes offer open source addressing systems to provide everyone with the addresses needed for business and other business needs. The Plus Codes are currently being rolled out in The Gambia with plans to expand to South Africa, Kenya and other regions.
Investments in entrepreneurship and technology:
- Google will invest in black-led startups in Africa through a Black Founders Fund.
- The launch of an investment fund for Africa will provide startups with $ 50 million, as well as access to Google employees, network and technology.
- Kiva and Google will provide $ 10 million in low-interest loans to small businesses and entrepreneurs to overcome Covid-19 difficulties.
- Loans will be launched in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
Renewed funding for associations:
- Google will provide $ 40 million to nonprofit partners serving the needs of African communities.
- New funding of $ 3 million will also be used to expand initiatives in ten new cities in five countries.
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Build on Google’s previous digital transformation support
The announcement builds on previous work by Google on the continent. It also supports Google’s efforts to showcase the continent’s creative talent and artistic heritage. Past initiatives include Grow with Google, which has pledged to train 10 million young Africans, and $ 16 million in nonprofit investments to date.