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Google to invest $1bn to back Equiano cable to increase Africa’s Internet access

By David Whitehouse
Posted on Wednesday, 6 October 2021 18:05

Technology CEOS Zuckerberg of Facebook, Dorsey of Twitter and Pichai of Google testify before House Committee in Washington
Google CEO Sundar Pichai /Handout via Reuters

Google plans to invest $1bn over five years to support digital transformation in Africa, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, said today.

The investment “will support the continent’s digital transformation,” Pichai said in a pre-recorded video released by the company. Google will also invest $50m in black-led start-ups, support non-profit organisations, and wants to partner with African governments, policymakers and businesses, he said.

Out of Africa’s population of 1.3 billion, an estimated 780 million people do not have access to the Internet. US big tech companies like Google and Facebook are backing cabling projects designed to improve the quantity and speed of African Internet access. Facebook is backing the 37,000km 2Africa cable, which will connect the continent with Asia and Europe. The cable will be the longest subsea cable system in the world when completed, Facebook says.