Google invests $ 1 billion in Africa in 5 years

Lagos —

Google plans to invest $ 1 billion in Africa over the next five years to ensure fast and cheap internet access, and has announced that it will support startups to support the digital transformation of the African continent.

A unit from US technology company Alphabet Inc announced at a virtual event that launched an African investment fund. Through this fund, we will invest $ 50 million in startups to provide access to employees, networks and technology.

In a virtual interview, Nitin Gaziria, managing director of Google in Africa, told Reuters that the company would specifically target startups focused on fintech, e-commerce and local language content.

“We are looking at areas that may have strategic overlap with Google and that Google could potentially add value by partnering with some of these startups,” Gaziria said. rice field.

Google is working with nonprofit Kiva to provide a $ 10 million low-interest loan to help SMEs and entrepreneurs in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa overcome the financial difficulties caused by COVID-19. We also provide.

African SMEs often struggle to get capital because they lack the collateral they need in the event of a bank default. If credit is available, interest rates are usually too high.

Google has partnered with Safaricom to allow customers to pay in installments for 4G-enabled phones, and the program pioneered in Kenya last year will be expanded across the continent with mobile operators such as MTN, Orange and Vodacom. I said I would.

Gaziria said the submarine cables Google is building to connect Africa and Europe will be available later next year in South Africa and Nigeria.

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