Google Announces Cloud Interconnect Sites In Lagos, Nairobi, Others

Google says it has set up a building of dedicated Cloud Interconnect sites in Lagos, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Cape Town.

Google Announces Cloud Interconnect Sites In Lagos, Nairobi, Others
Google Announces First Interconnect Sites In Lagos, Nairobi, and Others

The news, which came at the second Google for Africa event, is the latest example of how it is delivering on the $1 billion investment commitment made last year by the company’s CEO, Sundar Pichai.

He said the Cloud region, which will be in South Africa, will 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.

Google Cloud is already working with customers across the continent, helping them solve business-critical challenges, get online, and access the benefits of digital technology.

Today, Google also 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.

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. It will help 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.

Africa’s internet has the potential to grow to $180 billion by 2025 – 5.2% of the continent’s GDP. To support African entrepreneurs in growing and developing their talent, Google continues to support African small businesses through the Hustle Academy and Google Business Profiles and to help job seekers learn the skills they need through Developer Scholarships and Career Certifications.

Google, through its $50 million Africa Investment Fund that targets equity investments in tech startups, has since invested in three businesses over the past nine months SafeBoda, a transportation app in Uganda and Nigeria, Carry1st, a South African mobile gaming startup and Lori Systems, an e- logistics company based in Kenya.

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.

Director of Google Cloud Africa, Niral Patel, said: “We believe in growing an open and healthy ecosystem of technology solutions to support Africa’s digital transformation goals, which leads to more opportunities for businesses. It is part of our company-wide ethos to respect the environment, which is why we operate the cleanest cloud in the industry, supporting sustainable digital transformation. “Along with the cloud region, we are expanding our network through the Equiano subsea cable and building Dedicated Cloud Interconnect sites in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Lagos and Nairobi. In doing so, we are building full-scale Cloud capability for Africa.”

Managing Director, of Google Africa, Nitin Gajria, said: “We are collaborating with governments, policymakers, NGOs, telcos, business leaders, creators and media so that we can help accelerate Africa’s digital transformation. And it’s the talent and drive of the individuals in the countries and communities of Africa that will power Africa’s economic growth.”

South Africa Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Philly Mapulane, said: “Our National Development Plan 2030 calls for stimulating growth in the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) sector and innovation by driving public and private ICT investment, especially in network upgrades and expansion. Google’s recent efforts in this regard have been particularly encouraging. The Equiano cable landed in Cape Town recently, and the improved speed and reduced internet costs that this can deliver has the potential to drive much fuller Internet participation for many more South Africans.”

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