Facebook plans to grow Africa’s economy by $57 billion through its investments and infrastructure over the next five years. This is according to findings of a study, The Impact of Facebook’s connectivity Initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa, which was conducted by London-based firm Analysys Mason.
“At Facebook we’re committed to Africa and the role that we can play in improving the continent’s global competitiveness. Over the last three years we’ve heavily invested in infrastructure and connectivity initiatives that aim to affordably connect people on this continent and create tangible social-economic benefits,” said Facebook’s Africa Public Policy Director, Kojo Boakye.
Over the years, Facebook has invested in infrastructure and partnerships to address barriers to connectivity in a continent where over 800 million people remain unconnected to the internet.
Boakye said that the tech giant is investing in connectivity and infrastructure while creating tangible solutions which will see the region gain economic benefits between 2020 and 2024.
“These efforts are part of a complex solution that requires all stakeholders – including mobile operators, infrastructure providers and governments – to work together for the common good. We are only 1% finished and remain committed to this exciting journey and working with all our partners along the way,” added Boakye.
Facebook’s investments include infrastructure solutions such as the 2Africa Submarine cable which is one of the largest sub-marine cable in the world.
The undersea cable will circumvent the African Continent and is expected to triple the capacity currently provided by all the Subsea cables serving Africa and support 4G, 5G and Broadband access.
“In sub-Saharan Africa, where connectivity challenges remain high and Internet usage is still limited to a minority of people, even modest improvements can have a significant effect on outcomes,” the study notes
The social media giant will also support Mobile Operators by facilitating initiatives such as express Wi-Fi to enable ISPs and operators establish low cost access to networks.
The solutions are currently available in Kenya, Malawi, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Senegal and are helping get more people online.