Google is investing $1 billion to support “digital transformation” across Africa and help boost the country’s internet speeds.
The company says it will land a subsea cable into the continent, cutting across South Africa, Namibia, Nigeria and St Helena, connecting Africa and Europe. Goo will be offering low-interest loans for small businesses, equity investments into African startups, skills training and more.
Projections show that approximately 1.7 million jobs in Nigeria and South Africa will be created by 2025.
Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai made the announcement.
“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 $1 billion over five years to support Africa’s digital transformation, to cover a range of initiatives from improved connectivity to investment in startups,” said Pichai.
“This will lead to a 21 percent reduction in internet prices and increase internet speed in Nigeria and almost triple in South Africa,” said managing director for Google in Africa, Nitin Gajria.
Google says it will partner with Kenya’s telecoms company Safaricom which will launch affordable Android smartphones for first-time users before later being rolled out across Airtel, MTN, Orange and Vodacom.
“As we make these investments, we know we can’t do this alone. We look forward to partnering with African governments, policymakers, educators, entrepreneurs and businesses. We have so much opportunity ahead as Africans shape the next wave of innovation. Thank you for the chance to be a part of it,” Pichai concluded.