Google has announced that it will invest one billion dollars in Africa over the next five years. This investment will be made to ensure that the continent has access to internet that is both fast and inexpensive, as well as to support businesses that will drive the digital transformation of the continent.
The announcement was made during a virtual event hosted by Google for Africa. Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL.O) made the announcement that it was forming an Africa Investment Fund.
With this fund, the company will invest fifty million dollars in African businesses and provide those companies access to its employees, network, and technologies.
In addition, Google Africa will give $10 million in the form of low-interest loans to small businesses and entrepreneurs in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa in partnership with the non-profit organization Kiva in order to assist these individuals and businesses in overcoming the financial challenges brought on by COVID-19.
Small businesses in Africa sometimes struggle to secure finance because they do not possess the necessary collateral that banks require in the case of a default on a loan. Even when it is possible to obtain financing, the interest rates are typically extremely high.
Customers will be able to pay for 4G-enabled phones in installments thanks to a program that will be spread across Africa with the help of mobile carriers MTN, Orange, and Vodacom, according to an announcement made by Google Africa.
The Google for Africa program was initially introduced in Kenya the previous year in collaboration with Safaricom.