The African Development Bank (AfDB) and Google have formalized cooperation aimed at advancing digital transformation in Africa.
The agreement underscores a shared commitment to harness emerging technologies, extend and improve infrastructure, and refine talent and skills in the continent. The African Development Bank Group is Africa’s premier development finance institution.
Both parties have a history of fostering digital evolution. Over the past decade, the African Development Bank has 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 percent 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,” said Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank.
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 and Society, said that, “With advanced technologies like AI, the most profound transformation is yet to come. Collaboration will be essential if Africa is 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.”
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.