American multinational technology company, Google LLC has announced a $1 billion dollar investment in Africa over the next five years to build a submarine cable, support nonprofits, and fund upcoming companies.
Google announced support for young creatives and entrepreneurs through funding to help them develop products for the African market. Onajite Emerhor, who leads Google’s startup accelerator announced that 50 entrepreneurs will get a share of a $3 million fund for Black founders in Africa.
The initiative resonates because even though Africa is a predominantly Black continent, white privilege has sometimes crowded out Black founders. Google has continuously supported close to 80 startups in the region, since 2017.
Announcing the investment in a virtual meeting on Wednesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company will invest in a submarine internet cable, dubbed Equiano, which will link Africa to Europe.
The cable is expected to connect at least 300 million people to the internet over the five-year period, providing approximately 20 times more network capacity than the last cable built in the continent, reducing internet costs by up to 20pc.
Equiano is one of two submarine cables expected to land in Africa joining the Facebook-backed subsea cable project, 2Africa, which is also expected to connect 26 countries in the continent.
Google also plans to expand the current “Device Financing” collaboration with Kenya across Africa with partners like Airtel, MKOPA, MTN, Orange, and others to help millions of first-time Smartphone users gain access to quality, affordable Android smartphones.