Google launches series of programmes to support the growth and recovery of SMEs

AFRICA – Tech-giant Google has launched International Small Business Month, a series of programmes that aim to support the growth and recovery of SMEs in Africa. Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, Google’s head of brand and reputation for Africa said that the programmes are tech-driven and will enable SMEs in Africa to expand their customer base. “As more consumers start their journey looking for products and services online, we want to do more to help retail small businesses digitise and better leverage online tools for growth. One thing we know for sure is…

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Telecom Egypt partners with Google to provide it with mesh solution

EGYPT – Telecom Egypt, Egypt’s first integrated telecom operator and one of the largest subsea cables operators in the region, has signed an agreement with Google to provide Google with the first of its kind layer three meshed solution on multiple Telecom Egypt’s redundant and resilient Egypt crossing network infrastructure. As part of the agreement, Google will also be provided capacity on Telecom Egypt’s Mediterranean submarine cable, TE North. The project is expected to go live in the first half of 2021. This mesh project connects several cable landing stations…

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Google launches first ever startup accelerator program for startups MENA

MENA – Google has announced that the launch of its first ever startup accelerator program, Google for Startups Accelerator, for startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region; consequently, applications are invited from suitably qualified startups. The initiative is a three-month digital business acceleration programme aimed at the MENA region that targets technology startups in the initial financing (Seed) and Initial Investment (Series A) stages. Launched in early October as part of the Grow Stronger with Google regional program, the Google for Startups Accelerator. With an aim to…

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Orange rolls out affordable 4G smartphones for Middle East and Africa

AFRICA – French multinational telecommunications company Orange has launched globally the latest device in its Sanza range, an exclusive series of smartphone and 4G Android devices as part of the line-up of activities for the GSMA Thrive Africa 2020. The Sanza touch launch is supported by Google and builds on the American tech company’s efforts since it rolled out Android (Go edition) two years ago to accelerate the pace of digital adoption across Africa. The new device will retail around $30, an affordable price point intended to make it the most accessible on the market, Orange said. The…

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Google appoints Agnes Gathaiya as the new county director of East Africa

EAST AFRICA – Google, multinational technology company, has announced the appointment of Agnes Gathaiya as its new country director for its East Africa business. Agnes replaces Charles Mutoro who has segued to another role within Google as the Director, Sub Saharan Africa, Government Affairs & Public Policy. As the country director for East Africa at Google, Agnes will be responsible for managing regional operations for East Africa, developing & executing the organization’s in-country strategy for innovation and growth in line with Google’s regional priorities and mission, vision, and values. Contributing…

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Ecobank Group and Google partner to deliver digital solutions SMEs customers

TOGO – Ecobank Group, the pan-African Bank, in collaboration with Google is helping to equip African SMEs with the necessary digital skills to navigate the rapidly evolving business world. The aim is to assist African businesses remain relevant and fulfil their potential by embracing digital capabilities.  Ecobank utilizes an eBanking product suite, which, according to a press release, will now integrate with Google functions like Google My Business and Google Ad products.  The suite provides “24/7 access” for customers and will assist with cash management, payment and collection needs that…

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Alphabet Inc and Vodacom partner to launch Loon in Mozambique

MOZAMBIQUE – Loon, a unit of Google’s owner Alphabet Inc, which uses high-altitude balloons to provide mobile internet to remote areas, has signed a deal with Vodacom to expand the South African mobile operator’s network in Mozambique.  Loon and Vodacom have been working with Mozambican communications and aviation regulators to obtain the necessary approvals.  Using the Loon solution, Vodacom will expand mobile network access to Cabo Delgado and Niassa, two provinces that have proven hard to cover in the past due to their size, topography and low population density, Vodacom…

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Google and Toyota invest in mobility startup to improve transport in developing countries

SOUTH AFRICA – Mobility startup WhereIsMyTransport, has raised a US$7.5 million funding round from investors including Google and Toyota for further global expansion. Formed in 2016, WhereIsMyTransport is a big data platform for sustainable mobility in emerging markets, which connects and collects data and integrates this information on its open data platform. Its products are used by cities to coordinate and monitor services, operators to integrate their systems, and passengers, who access the platform through apps and endpoints connected to the WhereIsMyTransport platform. The startup secured two funding rounds back…

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Google intensifies African operations with launch of first developers’ space in Lagos

NIGERIA – The first Google Developers Space in Africa has been unveiled in Lagos in a bid to enable entrepreneurs, developers, venture capitalists and investors connect and collaborate. The Country Director, Google Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan, described the Google Developers Space, previously known as Google Launchpad Space, as a hub for African developers, entrepreneurs and start-ups. She noted that Google Chief Executive Officer, Sundar Pichai, made a commitment to African entrepreneurs in July 2017 to start the Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme and launch a space in Nigeria. “This space is the…

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Google seeks to buy stake in Kenyan renewable energy project Lake Turkana Wind Power

KENYA – American technology giant Google is among a group of global firms seeking to invest in Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP), Kenya’s largest private sector project that was officially commissioned in July, reports Business Daily. The wind farm, with a 310-megawatt (MW) capacity, has attracted the attention of investors interested in green energy projects. Google’s interest in LTWP has been disclosed by Norwegian investment company Norfund which has a six percent stake in the power plant. “Now that the plant is operational, more international investors, including Google, are looking…

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