Google has revealed how it will be investing in Africa as well has how it is adapting its services to meet the needs of citizens on the continent.

The first big announcement the Silicon Valley giant made is that it will commit $20 million over the next five years to non-profit organisations working to improve the lives of Africans.

The first $2.5 million of that figure is being invested in Gidi Mobile and Siyavula – two startups providing free access to learning for 400 000 students in South Africa as well as Nigeria.

Google also announced that it will launch a Impact Challenge in Africa next year. The challenge will invite non-profit organisations to share their ideas on how they plan to improve their communities. Google has set aside $5 million in grants for this challenge.

Specifics about when the challenge will launch were not revealed but we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for more information as and when it becomes available.

The firm went on to reveal that its Launchpad Accelerator program would provide in excess of $3 million in equity-free funding, mentorship, working space and access to expert advisers to more than 60 African startups over the next three years.

Google will also hold three month programs twice a year from the new Google Launchpad Space in Lagos.

So why is Google doing all of this?

It’s estimated that by 2034 Africa will have a working population of 1.1 billion citizens yet only three to four million jobs are created on the continent annually.

Some quick napkin maths will tell you there is a problem coming and to our mind the best way to solve that is by giving Africans with big ideas for businesses the tools to found those businesses and employ more Africans.

“That’s why we hope to equip more people, in Africa and elsewhere, with digital skills and tools. We’re excited to be part of Africa’s evolving digital story,” said Google.

And we’re excited to see what you can do Google.


[Image – CC 0 Public Domain Pixabay]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.