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Google says the cost of data and internet penetration is expensive in Africa

The Communications Manager of Google, Ms Dorothy Ooko says the cost of data and internet penetration still remains a major challenge in Africa.

The Communications Manager of Google, Ms Dorothy Ooko

This follows research conducted by the multinational technology company.

According to her, the internet penetration in Africa stood at 35.9 per cent which was below the United Nations (UN) internet penetration target of 50 per cent by 2017.

Ms Ooko was speaking at an artificial intelligence (AI) workshop Google organised in Accra this year.

“Internet access and cost of data is still a major problem that we are trying to solve in Africa. We are looking at how to make the internet accessible and affordable to all,” she stated.

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She further noted that the company’s research indicated that most Africans only use data when they want to view something online and then they immediately turn it off to reduce the high cost.

“Our research indicated that many people in Africa will turn their data on when they need to do something or read their WhatsApp messages and turn it off immediately they are done and wait again in the evening and this is due to the high data cost.”

Google has therefore projected to collaborate with its partners to introduce the Google station which seeks to provide free wifi to people in some areas on the continent.

“We have launched this (Google station) in Nigeria and the idea is to create internet access especially across the coast of Africa.”

Google after the workshop opened its artificial intelligence (AI) research centre in Accra. This is the first centre opened in Africa and it is expected to gather machine learning researchers and engineers in Accra to facilitate local AI development.

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