Google has announced a $1 billion dollar investment in Africa over the next five years to build a submarine cable, support nonprofits and fund new companies.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the investment in a virtual meeting on Wednesday. The submarine internet cable, dubbed Equiano, is expected to link Africa to Europe.
It is expected to connect at least 300 million people to the internet over the period, providing approximately 20 times more network capacity than the last cable built in the continent, reducing internet costs by about 21 percent.
Equiano is one of two submarine cables expected to land in Africa within the next few years. Facebook backed subsea cable project, 2Africa, is also expected to connect 26 countries in the continent.
Google also announced support for young creatives and entrepreneurs through funding to help them develop products for the African market. Onajite Emerhor, who leads Google’s startup accelerator also spoke at the event, saying 50 entrepreneurs were set to benefit from a $3 million investment fund.
This is however not a new thing for Google. The company has continuously supported close to 80 startups in the region, since 2017.