Google Is Investing $1 Billion Into Africa
Digital transformation over 5 years
Google is planning to invest 1 billion dollars into Africa over five years with the view to boost access to fast, cheap internet and back startups that will help the continent’s digital transformation.
Managing Director of Google in Africa Nitin Gajria says the company will be targeting startups focusing on fintech, e-commerce and local language content.
"We are looking at areas that may have some strategic overlap with Google and where Google could potentially add value in partnering with some of these startups," Gajria said.
A deal has also been struck with not-for-profit organisation Kiva to provide $10 million in low-interest loans that will help small businesses and entrepreneurs in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa as they endure hardship from the Covid pandemic.
Small businesses in Africa struggle to get capital as they lack the necessary collateral banks require in case they default. When credit is available the interest rates are often too high.
A trial allowing customers to pay for 4G-enabled phones in instalments would be expanded across the continents in partnership with mobile operators MTN, Orange and Vodacom.
Gajria also reported that an undersea cable being built to connect Africa and Europe is set to come into service in the middle of 2022. It’s expected to increase internet speeds fivefold and lower data costs by up to 21% in countries like South Africa and Nigeria.
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