4 major takeaways from the Google for Africa 2022 virtual event

Google provides updates on its $1B commitment in Africa, announces First Cloud Region in Africa
  • The second virtual Google for Africa 2022 event was held this morning
  • The biggest announcement is Google's intent to open Africa's first Cloud Data Region (data centre) in South Africa, with interconnecting sites in Nigeria and Kenya).

The second virtual Google for Africa 2022 event was held this morning as the global tech giant shared how it is delivering on its commitment to support various initiatives, from improved connectivity to investment in startups.

Here’s what Google announced:

Africa's first Cloud Data Cente to be launched in South Africa

The biggest announcement is Google's intent to open Africa's first Cloud Data Region (data centre) in South Africa, with interconnecting sites in Nigeria and Kenya). The news, which came at the second Google for Africa event, is the latest example of how Google delivers on the $1bn investment commitment made last year by the company's CEO, Sundar Pichai.

The South Africa cloud region will contribute more than a cumulative USD 2.1 billion to the country’s GDP and will support the creation of more than 40,000 jobs by 2030. The new Cloud Region will also help users, developers, businesses and educational institutions across Africa to move more information and tools online, improve access options for customers and, in turn, create jobs.

Gboard is getting support for more African languages

Today, Google announced the launch of voice typing support for nine more African languages in Gboard, the Google keyboard (isiNdebele, isiXhosa, Kinyarwanda, Northern Sotho, Swati, Sesotho, Tswana, Tshivenda and Xitsonga) – while 24 new languages are now supported on Google Translate, including Lingala, which is used by more than 45 million people across Central Africa.

Google Maps is upgrading Street View in Kenya, South Africa, Senegal and Nigeria

To make Maps more useful, Google also refreshed Street View in Kenya, South Africa, Senegal and Nigeria with nearly three hundred thousand kilometres of imagery. This helps people virtually explore and navigate neighbourhoods on Google Maps. They are also extending the service to Rwanda, meaning that Street View is now available in 11 African countries.

Google commits $40 million to help improve lives in Africa

Google is also supporting nonprofits working to improve lives in Africa with a $40 million cash and in-kind commitment. Last year, 7,500 career scholarships were disbursed to help young people learn new skills and build their careers, while Uganda’s AirQo received a $3 million grant to support the expansion of their work on monitoring air quality from Kampala to ten cities in five countries on the continent. Recently Google partnered with the UN to launch the Global Africa Business Initiative (GABI), a global partnership aiming to accelerate Africa’s economic growth and sustainable development.

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