Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that Google is investing in Kenya and has committed $10 million to support the country’s economic recovery from the gruelling effects of the COVID 19 pandemic. In an event hosted by the Corporate Council on Africa, H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta and Google CEO discussed ways in which Google is willing to help businesses including tech startups and communities in Kenya to recover and grow.
Across Africa, many countries have suffered the catastrophic effects of the coronavirus pandemic on their economies seeing as businesses could not operate normally due to tight new restrictions like total lockdowns that left many sitting at home for weeks and months without working. As much as the restrictions were eased, many businesses were left to pick up the pieces of what was left when they returned to work. Others have since found themselves in deep debt with others going bankrupt.
The Alphabet owned company is going through with its promise that it made in September last year and this is the reason why Google is investing in Kenya to provide support for African businesses, job seekers, and educational institutions ensuring that they can sustain themselves through the pandemic.
A breakdown of the $10 million Google is investing in Kenya.
Google has committed $10 million to help businesses in Kenya recover and thrive during the coronavirus pandemic. The main areas of focus will be the following;
$2 million will go to local non-profits via Google.org to help marginalized communities recover from the pandemic.
$3 million in small business loans to help business people and entrepreneurs in Kenya get through the economic hardship created by COVID 19.
$5 million to support Kenyan tech start-ups. The rate at which tech start-ups are launched in Africa is rising as people come up with digital solutions to solve everyday problems. The growth of these start-ups can be attributed to the immense funding from foreign tech billionaires who have endorsed these businesses. On this list, are some of the biggest names you can think of in tech like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Alibaba’s Jack Ma and Amazon chief Jeff Bezos.
Through the Google for StartUps Accelerator programs, the tech company offered support to a selected pool of startups across Africa through training and mentorship courtesy of the best instructors Google has to offer. Among these, 20 Kenyan tech companies have since graduated from the program.
The tech giant’s Google for Education has trained over 2000 teachers, educators and guardians on remote teaching and learning, and online safety. This is through giving them the digital skills that they require.
Such initiatives are essential to see that these businesses can recover and sustain themselves in the long run. According to Google, economic recovery is also about digital transformation. Kenya has been observed to have an emerging economy and by 2030, the country could unlock $74 billion in economic impact in the country.