AfDB and Google collaborate on digital transformation on African continent

Image of African Development Bank VP Solomon Quaynor, African Development Bank President Dr Akinwumi Adesina and Google Senior VP Dr James Manyika

NEW VENTURES The African Development Bank and Google have signed a cooperation agreement to advance digital transformation in Africa

13th October 2023

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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The African Development Bank (AfDB) and Google have signed a letter of intent to formalise cooperation aimed at advancing digital transformation across Africa.

The agreement, signed during the Global Africa Business Initiative at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, emphasises a shared commitment to leverage emerging technologies, extend and improve infrastructure and refine talent and skills on the continent.

“With 70% of sub-Saharan Africans under 30, our focus is on catalysing businesses to create jobs and offer innovative solutions,” explained AfDB president Dr Akinwunmi Adesina.

Working with the AfDB, Google will offer technical assistance to bolster entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises in digitalising their businesses, securing financing, mastering digital marketing and advancing private-sector development.

“With advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), the most profound transformation is yet to come,” said Google research, technology and society senior VP Dr James Manyika.

“Collaboration will be essential if Africa is to realise 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.”

The agreement is in line with the history of both parties in fostering digital evolution.

Over the past decade, the AfDB has invested $1.9-billion in projects emphasising the development of broadband infrastructure, conducive policy and regulatory environments, digital skills and innovative technology startups.

“Our journey from a 2% telephony penetration in 1998 to today’s era of fourth-generation, fifth-generation and AI signifies immense progress,” said Adesina.

Google has also been a longtime partner in Africa’s economic growth and digital transformation.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor



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