Google to invest Ksh.110bn in Africa digital economy

Global search giant Google will invest Ksh110 billion in Africa’s innovation journey over the next five years, chief executive Sundar Pichai has announced.

During this year’s Google4Africa event held Wednesday virtually, Mr. Pichai said the funds would be utilized to make technology accessible to more users in the continent.

“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,” he said.

Africa remains at the bottom of the global digital economy value chain despite commanding a market of 1.2 billion people due to the high cost of mobile and fixed Internet as expensive smartphones lock more than half of the population out of web services.

Google said the investment would focus to bridge this gap by offering faster Internet to more people at lower connectivity costs. A new subsea cable Equiano is planned to run through South Africa, Namibia, Nigeria, and St Helena and connect the continent with Europe.

This will add to the already existing 40,000-kilometre 4G and 5G subsea cable by the 2Africa consortium, that connects 19 African countries to Europe and the Middle East.

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