Digital Transformation: Google to invest $1 billion to support Nigeria, Ghana, others
Google plans to invest about $1 billion over five years to support digital transformation in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and other African countries.
This was disclosed on Wednesday by Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, via a statement issued at its first-ever Google for Africa event, held virtually.
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.
The statement by Sundar Pichai 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.
Google also announced the launch of an Africa Investment Fund. Through this fund, the company will invest $50M in startups and provide them with access to Google’s employees, network, and technologies to help them build meaningful products for their communities.
The CEO also said“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.”