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Tech News & Podcast | Africa

African Development Bank and Google collaborate on digital transformation in Africa

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and Google have formalized cooperation aimed at advancing digital transformation in Africa.

The parties signed a Letter of Intent during the Global Africa Business Initiative at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The agreement underscores a shared commitment to harness emerging technologies, extend and improve infrastructure, and refine talent and skills in the continent.

A statement issued by the Bank said both parties had a history of fostering digital evolution.

It said over the past decade, the Bank had invested $1.9 billion in projects, emphasizing the development of broadband infrastructure, conducive policy and regulatory environments, digital skills, and innovative technology startups.

“Our journey from a 2 per cent telephony penetration in 1998 to today’s era of 4G, 5G, and AI signifies immense progress. With 70 percent of sub-Saharan Africans under 30, our focus is on catalyzing businesses to create jobs and offer innovative solutions,” Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of AfDB said.

Google has been a longtime partner in Africa’s economic growth and digital transformation.

In 2005 Google invested in a major submarine telecommunications cable – the Seacom cable and since then, Google has been committed to digital transformation by supporting talent development, innovation, infrastructure, and regulatory advancements across the continent.

Working together with African Development Bank, Google will offer technical assistance to bolster entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises in digitizing their businesses, securing financing, mastering digital marketing, and advancing private sector development.

Dr. James Manyika, Google’s Senior Vice President of Research, Technology & Society, said: “With advanced technologies like AI, the most profound transformation is yet to come.”

He said collaboration would be essential if Africa was to realize this opportunity, building for everyone and ensuring no-one is left behind.

“We are excited to collaborate with the African Development Bank to work towards this shared commitment,” he added.

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