The Internet, the cloud defining Google’s investment in Africa

One year after launching Google’s $1 billion five-year investment plan to boost Africa’s digital transformation, the company has announced a number of projects that help improve digital infrastructure and support local startups on the continent.

Read more: Google pledges $1 billion to boost internet and start-ups in Africa

By Google for Africa 2022 recently webcastcompany executives revealed that from Johannesburg to Lagos, the tech giant has been expanding its African business and investing in the region’s digital future.

Nitin JagriaGoogle, Managing Director of Sub-Saharan Africa, kicked off the virtual event by highlighting efforts to increase internet coverage on the continent through infrastructure investments and leadership in innovative technologies.

At the forefront of Google’s African infrastructure projects is the Equiano Subsea cable, which runs from Portugal along the east coast of Africa to Cape Town, connecting Africa and Europe with Google’s latest multiplexing technology. Claims It will provide 20 times more network capacity than the last cable built to serve the area.

Jagria announced that main cable branches have already landed in Togo, Nigeria, Namibia and South Africa, and stated that the project will begin operations before the end of the year and will help add more than $17 billion in economic growth and nearly $2 million. jobs in the host countries.

In rural areas, where installing fiber is extremely difficult or uneconomical, Google hopes that a new technology being developed by Alphabet’s research and development arm, X, will help extend internet access to unconnected areas.

Jagria added that the file tara The project, which explores the use of light beams for wireless communications, is currently being piloted in six African countries, “is working to bring affordable and plentiful internet to more people across the continent.”

Read more: Google is preparing to open the first African product center

Cultivating the startup ecosystem in Africa

Besides building the technical infrastructure needed to deliver faster and cheaper internet, Google also supports micro, small and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) through training and investment.

See also: Google CEO: Africa on the brink of “digital transformation”

Earlier this year, the company launched Hustle Academy, a program designed to help MSMEs in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa develop the knowledge and skills they need to grow their businesses. The training focuses on enabling entrepreneurs to design digital marketing strategies, create plans for growth, identify the different forms of investment available, and create advertising platforms for investors.

Furthermore, Jagria said that the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa program has provided equity-free funding, workspace and expert advice to 96 startups in 17 countries that have raised $230 million in capital between them.

Google’s African Investment Fund has also made three investments since its inception in 2021: in Ugandan startup SafeBoda, in South African mobile gaming startup Carry1st, and most recently in Kenyan eLogistics, Lori Systems.

Read more: Google Africa Investment Fund supports Ugandan startup Safeboda

In addition to the African Investment Fund, Google last year launched the Black Founders Fund to invest in black-led startups in Africa.

Noting that 19 of the 20 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa, James ManicaGoogle Senior Vice President of Technology and Society, told the audience that the continent’s Internet economy has the potential to grow to $180 billion in the next three years.

To support this growth, Maneka said Google is tapping into the “enormous entrepreneurial potential that is ubiquitous across Africa” ​​by working with local startups to tackle local challenges.

Indeed, supporting the breadth of the startup ecosystem in Africa appears to be a key pillar of Google’s strategy in the region.

As Manyika pointed out, Google recently partnered with the African Union (AU) to accelerate digital transformation across its 55 member states, supporting the organization by crafting a startup billing policy aimed at improving the regulatory environment for businesses across the region.

Finally, to demonstrate its commitment to building Africa’s digital infrastructure, Niral PatelGoogle Cloud Africa Manager has announced the launch of a new cloud region in South Africa.

See more: Google announces a new cloud region in South Africa

Patel told attendees that the company will also set up dedicated cloud connectivity sites in Johannesburg, Capetown, Lagos and Nairobi as part of Google’s efforts to build “full-scale cloud capacity for Africa.”

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