The CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, addressing the African Union Business Forum on Monday (February 7), said that the continent is moving toward a digital transformation.
“Africa is increasingly becoming a place where innovation begins,” he said—citing the development of mobile payment systems, which were first developed in Kenya, and current renewable energy innovations in the country.
He applauded the Summit’s leadership for achieving “rapid economic growth” despite the challenges.
He said that Google has been collaborating with African countries to help bring new technology to people.
He mentioned the company’s plans to invest US$1 billion in Africa to support digital transformation, emphasising extending internet access and infrastructure.
Google has also invested in African businesses in transportation and tourism, such as SafeBoda, which connects passengers with dependable drivers and Send, a logistics platform for moving cargo.
“Partnership is at the heart of all of these projects. Success requires strong collaboration with African governments, the African Union, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and businesses in the digital ecosystem,” Pichai stated. “We are dedicated to ensuring that every person in Africa can shape and benefit from the opportunities that technology creates.”
According to a report, Google’s Africa fund financed SafeBoda, a Ugandan bike-hailing startup, in December.
The above mentioned is the first disbursement since Pichai launched the Africa Investment Fund in October 2021.
The SafeBoda investment will help the company expand its transportation app across Uganda and Nigeria through additional payment and financial services. It will also help boost the number of passengers, drivers, and merchants.
In a Technext report, Ricky Rapa Thomson, co-founder of SafeBoda, said, “We are excited to continue to drive innovation in informal transportation and payments in the Boda Boda (motorcycle taxi driver in East Africa) or okada (West Africa) market.”