The African nation of South Africa is now home to the major global cloud providers on the planet. This move is part of a $1 billion investment by the company in Africa over the next five years.
Projections of a subsea cable landing and low-interest loans to small businesses are included in the commitment. There is no better time to review the activities of the tech giant than a year ago.
The managing director at Google Africa pointed out that the company has a $1 billion investment in Africa and that it is focused on four key areas. Providing affordable access and helpful products for Africans, supporting businesses with their digital transformation process, investing in entrepreneurs to spur next- generation technologies, and supporting non-profits working on some of the continent's biggest, most profound challenges are some of the things they include.
Google confirms $1B investment into Africa, including subsea cable for faster internet
According to reports, Africa's internet economy can grow to $180 billion by the year 2025. Subsea cables drive down data costs and increase data speed as more Africans join the internet economy. The Equiano cable, which connects Africa with Europe, has gone through five countries since it was announced. Gajria said on the call that the cable would be fully operational by the end of the year.
Making the internet accessible and affordable is one of the goals of Project Taara. Light can be used to transmit data, eliminating the need for cables. The technology is a work in progress, but the company has made successful pilots in several African countries.
beams of light are being used to provide high-speed internet access in areas where it is not economically viable to install fiber. Inexpensive and abundant internet is being piloted in six African countries. The managing director said they were excited about the possibilities of bringing down infrastructure costs and the cost of data to the end user.
There are updates on the African tech scene. Over 96 startups have been supported in seed to Series A stages by the program. The $50 million Africa Investment Fund was revealed last year. Three companies have been supported by the fund: Ugandan mobility platform-turn-super app SafeBoda, South African mobile gaming company Carry1st, and Kenyan online logistics and haulage company
Google sets up $50M fund to invest in African startups
Alphabet’s Project Taara is beaming high-speed internet across the Congo River
A promise to provide capital of up to $100,000, an opportunity to connect with founders from across the globe, and access to some of the firm's services and products are some of the things the tech giant has promised to support.
In its latest and second batches, the company provided $4 million in non-dilutive capital to 60 startup within Africa. The fund is meant to fuel generational and systemic change in an environment where only a few of the founding fathers can raise funding. Early this year, the tech giant launched an academy with a plan to train thousands of entrepreneurs across the continent.
More than 3000 small and medium-sized businesses have gone through the free week-long boot camp geared at helping them increase revenue, position themselves for investment and build sustainable business models for the future, according to Gajria. The role that Google has played in supporting Africa's entrepreneurs is very close to my heart.
In its fourth area of investment, which is its work with NGOs, Gajria highlighted how the tech giant is giving out $1 million in ad grants monthly to over 40,000 people working in its workspace for non-profits.
In April this year, the internet giant launched its first product development center in Africa in order to build products and services for the African market and the world. It is the second major research and development investment by the tech giant in Africa, after setting up an artificial intelligence and research center in Ghana.
Google opens product development center in Nairobi, its first in Africa