Eswatini Daily News
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Google For Africa

Eswatini Daily News
By: Nomzamo Jiyane
10 October 2021

Google plans to invest $1 billion in Africa over the next five years to ensure access to fast and cheaper internet and will back startups to support the continent’s digital transformation.

The announcement was made by Google CEO Sundar Pichai at Google for Africa launch event on the 06th of October 2021. “ One thing I’ve seen is how technology can be a lifeline, whether you are a parent seeking information to keep your family healthy, a student learning virtually or an entrepreneur connecting with new customers and markets. Being helpful in these moments is at the core of our mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” said Pichai.

In collaboration with not for profit organization Kiva, Google will provide $10 million in low interest loans to help small businesses and entrepreneurs in African countries so they can get through the economic hardship created by Covid 19.

The US tech company Alphabet Inc  made the announcement at a virtual event where it launched an African Investment Fund, through which it will invest $50 million in startups, providing them with access to its employees, network and technologies. Small businesses in Africa often struggle to get capital because they lack the necessary collateral required by banks to secure funding. When credit is available, interest rates are usually too high.

Google said a program pioneered last year in Kenya in partnership with Saficom allows customers to pay for 4G enabled phones in installments would be expanded across the continent’s mobile operators such as MTN, Orange and Vodacom.

Google will continue to provide grant funding for startups, innovation and digital transformation for Africa.

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