Google declared its intention to open its first African Google Cloud region in South Africa. The announcement was made at the second annual Google for Africa event, and it’s the latest proof that Google is living up to its promise of a $1 billion investment.
As a result of the new Cloud Region, users, developers, businesses, and educational institutions in Africa will be able to digitize more resources, expand their reach to customers, and generate new jobs. According to a study by AlphaBeta Economics conducted at Google Cloud’s request, the South African cloud region will boost the economy by more than $2.1 billion and aid in the creation of more than 40,000 new jobs by the year 2030.
According to Niral Patel, Google Cloud’s Director of Africa, “we believe in growing an open and healthy ecosystem of technology solutions to support Africa’s digital transformation goals, which creates more opportunities for businesses”. He also stated, “We operate the cleanest cloud in the industry to support sustainable digital transformation as part of our company-wide ethos to respect the environment. In addition to the cloud region, we are also increasing our network capacity by laying the Equiano subsea cable and constructing Dedicated Cloud Interconnect sites in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Lagos, and Nairobi. By doing this, we are creating a truly pan-African Cloud infrastructure”.
Customers all over the continent are already benefiting from Google Cloud’s assistance in resolving mission-critical issues, connecting to the internet, and making the most of digital tools. To ensure that TakeAlot’s three million South African customers have a positive online shopping experience, Google Cloud collaborates with the company. TakeAlot relied on Google Cloud to construct its e-commerce platform, which has helped the company stay up and running even during peak traffic times like Black Friday. When in Kenya, Google Cloud partners with Twiga Foods, a tech firm that “connects 1,000 farmers to 140,000 vendors, delivers 12,000 orders per day, and stores 2 million kilograms of fresh produce,” to “address and improve food security in Africa.”
“Our National Development Plan 2030 calls for stimulating growth in the ICT sector and innovation by driving public and private ICT investment, especially in network upgrades and expansion,” said Philly Mapulane, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies. ” It’s great to see Google making strides in this direction recently. With the recent arrival of the Equiano cable in Cape Town, more people in South Africa may be able to afford to use the Internet due to its faster speeds and lower prices”.
At the beginning of the year, Google announced that it would open its first African product development center in Nairobi, with the goal of creating better products for people all over the continent and the world.
Nine additional African languages (isiNdebele, isiXhosa, Kinyarwanda, Northern Sotho, Swati, Sesotho, Tswana, Tshivenda, and Xitsonga) now have voice typing support in Gboard, the Google keyboard. Additionally, Google Translate now supports 24 new languages, including Lingala, which is spoken by more than 45 million people in Central Africa.
Google also updated its Street View in Kenya, South Africa, Senegal, and Nigeria, adding nearly 300,000 kilometers of new imagery to make Maps more useful. This facilitates Google Maps’ use as a virtual tourist guide, allowing users to virtually visit and get around in neighborhoods. With the addition of Rwanda, Street View is now available in eleven different countries across Africa.
By 2025, it is expected that Africa’s internet economy will be worth $180 billion, or about 5.2% of the continent’s GDP. Google’s Developer Scholarships and Career Certifications, as well as the Hustle Academy and Google Business Profiles, are just a few of the ways that the company helps African entrepreneurs cultivate their talents and bring their businesses to fruition.
Over the past 9 months, Google has invested $50 million through its Africa Investment Fund, an equity investment vehicle focused on tech startups, in three companies: SafeBoda, a transportation app with operations in Uganda and Nigeria; Carry1st, a mobile gaming startup based in South Africa; and Lori Systems, an e-logistics operation based in Kenya.
“We are collaborating with governments, policymakers, NGOs, telcos, business leaders, creators, and media to speed up Africa’s digital transformation,” Nitin Gajria, Managing Director of Google Africa, said. ” African countries and communities will grow economically thanks to the ingenuity and initiative of their citizens”, he says.
Accomplishments include the laying of the subsea cable Equiano, which connects St. Helena, Togo, Nigeria, Namibia, and South Africa with Europe and is expected to bring faster, cheaper internet to the continent. By 2025, the cable is expected to speed up economic growth, increasing GDP by USD 10.1 billion in Nigeria, USD 7 billion in South Africa, and USD 260 million in Namibia, according to a recent economic impact assessment conducted by Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics. At the same time, thanks to the growth of the digital economy and ancillary industries, Equiano should indirectly generate 1.6 million new jobs in Nigeria, 180,000 in South Africa, and 21,000 in Namibia.
Dr. Mahamudu, Vice President of Ghana, said, “This event provides a quintessential platform for us as Africans, together with our partners, to demonstrate the importance of helpful partnerships between governments and the private sector in addressing African challenges. The Ghanaian government is pleased with the results of their collaboration with Google on a number of projects”.
Through a $40 million cash and in-kind commitment, Google is also helping nonprofits in Africa improve people’s lives. Uganda’s AirQo was awarded $3 million to help them expand their work monitoring air quality from Kampala to ten cities across five countries on the continent, and 7,500 career scholarships were given out to help young people learn new skills and build careers in the previous year.
Recently, Google and the United Nations launched the Global Africa Business Initiative (GABI), a global partnership with the goal of hastening Africa’s economic growth and sustainable development.