Google And Investment Trio Commit $100M To Improve African Broadband Infrastructure
Google and three strategic partners have committed to investing in broadband infrastructure development.
Google and three strategic partners have committed to investing a combined $100 million in a broadband infrastructure project to benefit African cities, with fast and reliable internet capabilities in the pipeline. The agreement signed between the four investors, Google, pan-African ICT-focused private equity firm Convergence Partners, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Japan’s second-largest trading house, Mitsui & Co, sees the creation of a new entity known as CSquared. CSquared will operate as an independent company and will be based out of offices in Nairobi, Kenya, according to BusinessDailyAfrica1.
The ICT infrastructure investment initiative is an extension of Project Link, a program Google first launched in Uganda four years ago in order to provide local internet service providers (ISPs) with access to a more efficient infrastructure. Google’s Project Link has been a success story, with more than 1,600km of fiber networks so far installed within five cities across Uganda and Ghana, enabling dozens of internet service providers and mobile networks to offer a range of services.
Strengthening Africa’s broadband infrastructure
While Project Link has only improved the broadband infrastructure in Uganda and Ghana thus far, CSquared’s $100 million investment will be put towards expanding those gains across numerous other African countries, according to VentureBeat2. Referencing the partnership that Google has now created for the benefit of ICT infrastructure in Africa, Marian Croak, Google’s vice president for access strategy and emerging markets, is convinced that CSquared will be able to deliver on their goals for reliable and affordable internet access on the continent.
“Together with our new partners, we believe CSquared can roll-out and operate affordable, high-speed, and reliable infrastructure to further expand internet access in Africa,” explained Croak, according to TelecomsTechNews3.
Google is determined to expand quality internet access throughout the world in order to make their services available to an ever-growing audience, and in this regard Africa represents a sizeable market that remains largely untapped, providing excellent growth prospects.
Only 20 percent of Africans have access to the internet, according to ITWebAfrica4, but this is set to grow rapidly in the coming years due to partnerships such as CSquared and stronger public-private collaboration in many African countries which are pushing for increased access to reliable internet at better prices.