Google announces First Cloud Region in Africa, gives updates on its $1B Commitment

Google provides updates on its $1B commitment in Africa, Announces First Cloud Region in Africa.

Google announces First Cloud Region in Africa, gives updates on its $1B commitment
Google announces First Cloud Region in Africa, gives updates on its $1B Commitment

Google has announced its intention to open a new Google Cloud region in South Africa, the first on the continent.

The announcement, which was unveiled at the second Google for Africa event, is the most recent illustration of how Google is following through on its $1 billion investment pledge made by its CEO, Sundar Pichai, last year.

The new Cloud Region will support consumers, developers, enterprises, and educational institutions in moving more data and tools online, enhancing customer access options, and ultimately generating employment throughout Africa. According to study by AlphaBeta Economics for Google Cloud, the South African cloud region would support the development of more than 40,000 employment and more than a cumulative USD 2.1 billion in GDP by 2030.

Niral Patel, Director of Google Cloud Africa said: “We believe in growing an open and healthy ecosystem of technology solutions to support Africa’ digital transformation goals , which leads to more opportunities for businesses. It is part of our company-wide ethos to respect the environment, which is why we operate the cleanest cloud in the industry, supporting sustainable digital transformation,” he added. “Along with the cloud region, we are expanding our network through the Equiano subsea cable and building Dedicated Cloud Interconnect sites in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Lagos and Nairobi. In doing so, we are building full scale Cloud capability for Africa.”

Google Cloud is already working with customers across the continent – helping them solve business-critical challenges, get online, and access the benefits of digital technology. In South Africa, Google Cloud works with leading retailer TakeAlot to help their three million local customers enjoy a hassle-free online shopping experience. TakeAlot built its e-commerce platform on Google Cloud, which has enabled the business to avoid system crashes during high-traffic periods Black Friday. While in Kenya, Google Cloud works with Twiga Foods – a technology-driven company addressing and improving food security in Africa – helps them 1,000 farmers to 140,000 vendors, delivering 12,000 orders every day and storing two million kilograms of fresh produce.”

Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Philly Mapulane (South Africa): “Our National Development Plan 2030 calls for stimulating growth in the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) sector and innovation by driving public and private ICT investment, especially in network upgrades and expansion. Google’ recent efforts in this regard have been particularly encouraging. The Equiano cable landed in Cape Town recently, and the improved speed and reduced internet costs that this can deliver has the potential to drive much fuller Internet participation for many more South Africans.”

UPDATES ON EXISTING GOOGLE PRODUCTS

Google announced intentions to open its first African product development centre in Nairobi earlier this year in order to create better goods for both Africans and the rest of the globe.

The Google keyboard, Gboard, now supports voice typing in nine additional African languages: isiNdebele, isiXhosa, Kinyarwanda, Northern Sotho, Swati, Sesotho, Tswana, Tshivenda, and Xitsonga. Additionally, Google Translate now supports 24 additional languages, including Lingala, which is spoken by more than 45 million people in Central Africa.

Google updated Street View with approximately 30,000 kilometres of new imagery in Kenya, South Africa, Senegal, and Nigeria to enhance the usefulness of Maps. This makes it easier for users to digitally explore and navigate neighbourhoods on Google Maps.

GOOGLE SUPPORT FOR AFRICAN ENTREPRENEURS

The internet economy in Africa has the potential to expand to $180 billion by 2025, accounting for 5.2% of the continent’ GDP.

Google continues to support African entrepreneurs in growing and developing their expertise through the Academy and Google Business Profiles, as well as helping job seekers obtain the skills they need through Developer Scholarships and Career Certifications.

Google has since invested in three companies over the past nine months through its $50 million Africa Investment Fund, which focuses on equity investments in tech startups.

These companies are SafeBoda, a transportation app in Uganda and Nigeria, Carry1st, a South African mobile gaming startup, and Lori Systems, an e-logistics company with headquarters in Kenya.

Nitin Gajria, Managing Director, Google Africa added “We are collaborating with governments, policymakers, NGOs, telcos, business leaders, creators and media so that we can help accelerate Africa’ digital transformation. And it’ the talent and drive of the individuals in the countries and communities of Africa that will power Africa’s economic growth,” he adds.

Milestones achieved include the subsea cable, Equiano, now running through Togo, Nigeria, Namibia and South Africa, which is expected to deliver faster, lower-cost internet to the continent by connecting St. Helena, Togo, Nigeria, Namibia and South Africa with Europe.


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A recent economic impact assessment conducted by Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics found that by 2025, the cable is set to accelerate economic growth with the GDPs of Nigeria rising by USD 10.1 billion, South Africa by USD 7 billion and USD 260 million in Namibia.

During the same time, Equiano should indirectly create 1.6 million in Nigeria, 180,000 in South Africa and 21,000 in Namibia, driven by the expansion of the digital economy and peripheral sectors.

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu (Ghana): “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 proud of our partnership with Google through several initiatives.”

Google is also supporting nonprofits working to improve lives in Africa with a $40 million cash and in-kind commitment.

Last year, 7,500 career scholarships were disbursed to help young people learn new skills and build their careers while Uganda’ AirQo received a $3 million grant to support the expansion of their work on monitoring air quality from Kampala to ten cities in five countries on the continent.

Recently Google partnered with the UN to launch the Global Africa Business Initiative (GABI), a global partnership aiming to accelerate Africa’ economic growth and sustainable development.

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