Africa to benefit from US$1bn investment in digital infrastructure
By our News Team | 2021
In what will be a boon to digital marketing initiatives, the planned investment will include enabling more affordable internet access.
Google has announced a plan to invest US$1bn over five years to support Africa’s digital transformation.
The investment focuses on enabling fast, affordable internet access for more Africans; building helpful products; supporting entrepreneurship and small business; and helping non-profits to improve lives across Africa.
Google made its announcement the recent Google for Africa event, held virtually and livestreamed around the continent.
A subsea cable called Equiano will run through South Africa, Namibia, Nigeria and St Helena island to connect the continent with Europe. It will help bring faster internet to more African consumers and lower connectivity costs.
Financial services will be a beneficiary
Hybrid: Photo by James Wiseman @ Unsplash
Google has collaborated with Kenyan mobile network operator Safaricom to support the launch of the first ‘Device Financing’ plan in Kenya. It will thereafter expand this initiative across Africa with telecommunications partners like Airtel, MKOPA, MTN, Orange, Transsion Holdings, Vodacom and others. These partnerships will help millions of first-time smartphone users gain access to quality, affordable Android smartphones.
Google will also invest in startups in Africa by providing cash awards and hands-on support. This is in addition to Google’s existing support through the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa. This initiative has helped more than 80 African startups with equity-free finance, working space and access to expert advisers over the last three years.
The announcement expands Google’s ongoing support for Africa’s digital transformation and entrepreneurship. In 2017, it launched its Grow with Google initiative, with a commitment to training 10-million young Africans and small businesses in digital skills. To date, Google has trained over six million people across 25 African countries.
Source: Bizcommunity and Google