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A look back at a year of Google’s $1 billion effort to support Africa’s digital economy • TechCrunch




Today Google announced a new cloud region in South Africa. This African country is now home to the continent’s leading global he cloud provider. For Google, the move is part of a broader effort in which he will invest $1 billion to support digital transformation across Africa over the next five years.

Analyzed, the commitments include projections for Google to land an undersea cable, offer low-interest loans to small businesses, and offer equity investments to growth startups in Africa. His CEO of Google Sundar Pichai made this announcement exactly one year ago last October.

At a media roundtable, Nitin Gajria, managing director of Google Africa, pointed out that Google’s $1 billion investment in the African continent is focused on four key areas. This includes providing affordable access and useful products to the people of Africa, supporting businesses in their digital transformation process, investing in entrepreneurs driving the next generation of technology, and investing in the continent’s This includes supporting non-profit organizations working on serious challenges.

According to reports, Africa’s internet economy could grow to $180 billion by 2025, accounting for 5.2% of the continent’s GDP. Submarine cables are crucial to this growth as they reduce data costs and improve data speeds as more Africans join the internet economy. Since its announcement in February this year, Equiano, Google’s undersea cable connecting Africa and Europe, now passes through Togo, Nigeria, Namibia and South Africa. The submarine cable is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year, Gaziria said by phone.

Project Taara is another of Google’s schemes centered around making the Internet accessible and affordable. Taara uses light to transmit data, eliminating the need for expensive infrastructure such as cables. The technology is a work in progress, but the company has successfully piloted it in six of his African countries, including Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

X, a colleague at the Alphabets Moonshot factory, uses light rays to provide high-speed Internet access in areas where laying fiber is too difficult or economically viable. It is currently being piloted in six of her African countries working to bring affordable and abundant internet to more people across the country. Managing her director added that he is excited about the possibilities this opens up in terms of reducing infrastructure costs and reducing the cost of user data.

He also gave an update on Google’s program for the African tech scene. Since its launch in 2018, the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa program has backed over 96 startups in the seed to Series A stages, raising a total of $230 million in venture capital. Last year, Google announced the Africa Investment Fund, his $50 million fund to invest in growth-stage start-ups on the African continent. Through the fund, the company is backing three of his companies: Ugandan mobility platform turned super app SafeBoda, South African mobile gaming company Carry1st, and Kenyan online logistics and transportation company Lori Systems.

Underscoring its commitment to helping underserved entrepreneurs in Africa, the tech giant will provide up to $100,000 in capital, opportunities to connect with founders around the world, and services for companies. and products.

In its latest second batch, Google provided $4 million in undiluted capital to 60 African startups. Google says the fund aims to drive generational and organizational change in an ecosystem where only a handful of founders can raise money. And in continuing its efforts to help small businesses, the tech giant launched his Google Hustle Academy earlier this year with plans to train thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs across the continent.

We launched Hustle Academy earlier this year, and to date, more than 3,000 small businesses have taken this free week-long boot camp to help them grow revenue, position themselves for investment, and build sustainable business models. I’m here. In the future, Gaziria spoke of progress on this front. Her Google role in helping entrepreneurs in Africa is a real passion for me, so I keep that in mind.

On Google’s fourth area of ​​investment, working with NGOs, Gajria said the tech giant is making millions of dollars a month to more than 40,000 people collaborating in Google Workspaces for nonprofits across the continent. We emphasized that we offer dollar advertising subsidies.

Having doubled its infrastructure investment in Africa, Google launched its first product development center in Africa in April this year. It said it aims to build innovative products and services for the African market and the world. The Nairobi center is Google’s second major R&D investment in Africa after the tech giant established his AI and research center in Ghana in 2019.




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