Google has announced that it will invest $1 billion over the next five years to support digital transformation and entrepreneurship in Africa.
The planned $1billion investment which was announced on Wednesday by Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google who 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.”
This investment will include a plan to enable individuals and businesses to access affordable internet access, build helpful products, invest in entrepreneurship and technology, empower businesses to embark on their digital transformation and provide funding for nonprofits.
Nitin Gajria, Managing Director for Google in Africa stated that African developers and startup founders are capable of solving Africa’s biggest problems, hence the need for investment.
“I am so inspired by the innovative African tech startup scene. In the last year, we have seen more investment rounds into tech startups than ever before. I am of the firm belief that no one is better placed to solve Africa’s biggest problems than Africa’s young developers and startup founders. We look forward to deepening our partnership with, and support for, Africa’s innovators and entrepreneurs.”
Google also said it will partner with Kenya’s telecoms giant Safaricom to launch affordable Android smartphones for first time users.
The project will later be rolled out across the continent with other carriers such Airtel, MTN, Orange and Vodacom.