Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Wednesday that it intended to invest $1 billion in Africa over the upcoming five years in order to facilitate access to fast and cheaper internet service and to support the continent’s digital transformation.
The announcement was made during a virtual event where Google launched an Africa Investment Fund, through which it intends to invest $50 million in startup companies, while granting them access to its employees, network and technologies.
By collaborating with non-profit organization Kiva, Google will also provide $10 million in low interest loans to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in countries such as Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa during economic difficulties resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Today I’m excited to reaffirm our commitment to the continent through an investment of $1 billion over five years to support Africa’s digital transformation to cover a range of initiatives from improved connectivity to investment in startups,” Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer of Google and Alphabet, said.
Alphabet shares closed higher for a second consecutive trading session on NASDAQ on Wednesday. The stock went up 0.86% ($23.5) to $2,747.1, after touching an intraday high at $2,757.0. The latter has been a price level not seen since September 28th ($2,792.1).
Shares of Alphabet Inc have risen 56.81% so far in 2021 compared with a 16.17% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).
In 2020, Alphabet Inc’s stock went up 31.03%, thus, it again outperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 16.26% gain.