Search engine giant Google has pledged to invest US$1 billion in Africa over the next five years as part of a broader plan aimed at helping the continent undergo digital transformation.
Google has now launched a fund to invest as much as $50 million in African startups. The chosen entrepreneurs will get technology tools as well as skill training directly from Google employees.
The Silicon Valley firm has told Reuters that it is looking to invest in startups in lucrative sectors such as financial technology and e-commerce.
In addition, Google has set aside $10 million to lend low-interest loans to small entrepreneurs in countries including Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.
This is the search engine giant’s second major attempt to help Africa benefit from the World Wide Web and transformative technology solutions.
Google is building a fiber optic cable network connecting Africa with Europe. The network is likely to go live soon. The submarine cable is expected to increase network speed by 20 fold while pushing down internet prices by more than 21% across the region.