Google is set to invest $1 billion over 5 years to support digital transformation in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and others.
This was disclosed by Google Africa via a statement issued on Wednesday and seen by Nairametrics.
The investment focuses on enabling fast, affordable internet access for more Africans; building helpful products; supporting entrepreneurship and small business; and helping nonprofits to improve lives across Africa.
What Google is saying
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, said, “Google is building global infrastructure to help bring faster internet to more people and lower connectivity costs. The subsea cable Equiano will run through South Africa, Namibia, Nigeria and St Helena and connect the continent with Europe.
“Internet access is also hampered by the affordability of smartphones. Android has developed a device locking technology as part of the Android platform that will enable partners to offer financed devices. Google has collaborated with Kenya’s largest carrier Safaricom to support the launch of the first “Device Financing” plan in Kenya, and will expand this initiative across Africa with partners like Airtel, MTN, Orange, Transsion Holdings and Vodacom, and more. These partnerships will help millions of first-time smartphone users gain access to quality, affordable Android smartphones.”
He added that through a Black Founders Fund, Google will invest in Black-led startups in Africa by providing cash awards and hands-on support.
According to him, this is in addition to Google’s existing support through the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa, which has helped more than 80 African startups with equity-free finance, working space and access to expert advisors over the last three years.
“We’ve made huge strides together over the past decade — but there’s more work to do to make the internet accessible, affordable and useful for every African. Today I’m excited to reaffirm our commitment to the continent through an investment of $1B over five years to support Africa’s digital transformation to cover a range of initiatives from improved connectivity to investment in startups,” he added.
What you should know
The development expands Google’s ongoing support for Africa’s digital transformation and entrepreneurship.
In 2017, Google launched its Grow with Google initiative with a commitment to train 10 million young Africans and small businesses in digital skills.
To date, Google has trained over 6 million people across 25 African countries, with over 60% of participants experiencing growth in their career and/or business as a result.
Google has also supported more than 50 nonprofits across Africa with over $16million of investment and enabled hundreds of millions of Africans to access internet services for the first time through Android.