Google for Africa 2022!
Students in Sokode meet online to start their homework, A developer in Nakuru searches for the perfect job, an entrepreneur in Lagos starts an online clothing business. Musicians in Johannesburg are heard by millions of people around the world. Access to the Internet Turbo Boosts education, innovation and creativity.
That's why we committed to invest $1 billion in Africa's digital transformation, Helping to bring 20 times more Internet capacity to the continent, Helping to make Android phones for every budget. And using A.I. to help solve challenges for everyone. It's for the community and it's by the community. Together we're building infrastructure, digital skills, partnerships, startups, superstars.
We're building the future, building together. Dumelang from Johannesburg, and welcome to the second edition of Google for Africa! My name is Nitin Gajria, Managing Director for Google in Africa. Thank you for joining us! I'd like to extend a special welcome to our esteemed guests, ministers, the vice president of Ghana, His Excellency Dr. Bawumia, and our partners. Today is also World Teacher’s Day, so to all the teachers out there watching: Thank you for all you do! So much has changed since our last Google for Africa event a year ago.
For me, one upside of the pandemic was that I was able to spend a lot more time with my wife and two boys than what would have otherwise been possible. This is something I'm hoping to carry with me as the world continues to open up. And this also carries through to the work that we do at Google.
When we were together last year, our CEO for Google and Alphabet, Sundar Pichai announced a $1 billion investment in Africa's digital transformation. This investment spans four areas: Enabling affordable access and building products for every African user, Helping businesses with their digital transformation, Investing in entrepreneurs to help spur next generation technologies, And supporting non-profits to improve lives across Africa. I'd like to share with you some of the progress we've made in these areas. Let's talk about enabling access to the Internet. Last year, we spoke about the Equiano Subsea Cable as a part of our investment into Africa, which has now landed in Togo, Nigeria, Namibia and South Africa.
We're looking forward to commencing operations before the end of the year, which can then help add more than $17 billion in economic growth and nearly 2 million jobs in its host countries. We also shared how our colleagues at X, Alphabet's Moonshot Factory are providing high speed Internet access using beams of light in areas where it's either too difficult or not economically viable to install fibre. This is now piloting in six African countries, working to bring affordable and abundant Internet to more people across the continent. We also committed to helping businesses with their digital transformation. Faster, cheaper internet is a game changer for the small businesses that are at the heartbeat of Africa's economy. But it's not the only kind of support these businesses need.
Earlier this year, we launched the Hustle Academy. To date, more than 3000 small and medium sized businesses have gone through this free weeklong bootcamp geared at helping them increase revenue, position themselves for investment and build sustainable business models for the future. The role that Google has played in supporting Africa's entrepreneurs is particularly close to my heart because this is an area I'm truly passionate about. The startup scene in Africa is booming, attracting over $4 billion in capital in 2021, two and a half times more funding than in 2020.
Our Africa Investment Fund has made three investments since its launch in 2021. In SafeBoda: a transportation app in Uganda. and Nigeria, Carry1st: a South African mobile gaming startup and most recently in Kenya based Lori Systems: an e-logistics company. The Google for Startups Accelerator Africa programme has provided equity free finance, working space, access to expert advisors to 96 startups from 17 countries since 2018.
They have gone on to collectively raise $230 million in capital and create 2800 direct jobs. And last year we launched the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund to invest in black led startups in Africa. The final commitment that we made was to support non-profits and institutions working to unlock the benefits of technology. Through Google for Non-profits, we're donating $1 million in ad grants on a monthly basis and helping more than 40,000 people collaborate with Google Workspace for non-profits.
I'm also happy to announce that we are provisioning Google Career Certificates scholarships and learning support to 5000 more African youth through $1.5 million in additional grant funding. This funding will be distributed to the Africa Coding Network, International Youth Foundation and Junior Achievement Africa. None of these initiatives would be possible without the support of our partners. As I look towards the future I’m excited for the role that technology will continue to play in transforming lives for the better, on the continent. Going through this journey, we want to embrace the spirit of Ubuntu. I am, because we are.
We look forward to continuing to build together. Partnering with Africa. For Africa. To tell you more about how we are partnering with governments and institutions in building Africa's future, let me hand over to James Manyika, Senior Vice President for Technology and Society at Google. Thank you. Thanks, Nitin! Good morning.
Or mangwanani, as we would say, in Zimbabwe, where I grew up. I'm excited to speak with you all today about the potential for technology to support transformational growth and the creation of economic opportunities in Africa for Africans. I also want to highlight the essential role that partnerships play in making all of this possible. When I was an undergraduate student in Harare, I remember clearly the first time someone suggested that I learn and understand neural networks. I would have never predicted that a chance conversation like that would lead me to a PhD in AI and robotics at Oxford and eventually to Google.
What drew me in then, and what keeps me interested now, is the potential that technology offers for helping us overcome complex societal challenges, improve lives, and create access to economic opportunities, and as a result, transform society for the better, especially if we go about it the right way. So where do things stand now? We're seeing some recovery from the global economic effects of the pandemic, but we still face economic uncertainty, a cost of living crisis and in too many places, a lack of economic opportunities that predates the current uncertainty and also in some places, severe food shortages. While I don't expect the next few years to be easy, I'm very optimistic about Africa's future and how technology can contribute to economic recovery now and sustained economic growth going forward. We're already seeing some impressive progress.
19 of the top 20 fastest growing countries in the world are in Africa. Africa's Internet economy has the potential to grow to $180 billion by 2025 and more than half of Africa's population will be under 25 by the year 2025. While that fact creates a real need for increased opportunities and for people and families to earn a living, it also offers up an incredible pool of talent and leadership for the future. Not to mention the tremendous entrepreneurial energy that is everywhere across Africa. And as new technologies emerge, AI in particular, presents tremendous potential to tackle some of our most intractable societal challenges.
We are already seeing impressive examples of this, through watching what some of the startups are doing and organisations across Africa are doing and also through our many collaborations. One example that stands out to me is AirQo, a company we've been working with to create a low cost sensor technology bolstered by AI that helps close data gaps and provide air quality information in urban areas. This project began in Uganda and will be scaling across Africa. At Google, we want to support more organisations like this, taking on these types of challenges. I'll give you another example.
In our AI research Centre that we recently set up in Ghana in partnership with other organisations in the region, they have come up with a way that is AI enabled to predict where locusts breed. And this is an innovation that will make huge contributions to agricultural challenges as well as to the related food shortages. A few weeks ago I was at the UN General Assembly, UNGA, and we announced a renewed commitment from Google to use AI to accelerate progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs. This global commitment that we've made will include a $25 million fund to support NGOs and social enterprises in this work as well as Google dot org fellowships that will add additional resources to make sure and contribute to this work. All the projects that we'll be supporting will be open sourced to ensure that the progress made by one organisation is accessible to others so they can build and expand on it.
Google's been proud to be a partner in Africa's economic growth and digital transformation ever since its first infrastructure investment back in 2005, when Google was only a few years old. And this was the Seacom Cable. As you've heard, Nitin mention earlier, that investment has grown into many other investments in many other areas. I'm excited to see the potential that the $1 billion we are committed to investing in Africa can unlock through partnerships with governments and other institutions over the next few years. And speaking of partnerships, we recently committed to partner with the African Union to accelerate the digital transformation across the 55 member states.
By supporting the AU with policy formulation for startup bills, we hope to improve the regulatory environment for those startups and other SMBs across Africa. And in September, we worked with the United Nations to launch the inaugural Global African Business Initiative, GABI, to accelerate Africa's economic growth and sustainable development. We are looking forward to collaborate with the global community of government, social, business leaders, and entrepreneurs. These types of partnerships are an essential foundation and the essential foundation we need in order to capitalise on the potential technology offers Africa for growth, prosperity and opportunity. And these types of partners are also essential to the future that we can build together.
One where technology supports innovation, entrepreneurship and also the talent that is powering Africa's digital transformation and its future prosperity. I've spoken a lot about partnerships and building together and in that spirit, let me hand over to the vice president of Ghana, His Excellency, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, to share his perspective on the role that partnerships between government institutions and the private sector plays in building Africa's future. Thank you.
Ladies and gentlemen. Greetings on behalf of the government of Ghana. It is indeed an honour to be invited for the second iteration of the Google Africa event. We can all agree that the world is facing a myriad of socio economic challenges that were magnified by the COVID 19 pandemic.
For us in Ghana, technology became a lifeline during the pandemic. Consequently, we prioritised our digital transformation agenda as a tool to accelerate us into the next stage of digitisation. We developed technological applications across sectors from telehealth to telework, virtual courts, to virtual education.
Despite our ardent efforts in the quest to build a prosperous continent that is based on inclusive growth and sustainable development, Africa continues to face many challenges. Our challenges range from job creation, food security, a need for improved health services, better education that includes digital literacy, amongst other competing challenges. This event provides a quintessential platform for us as Africans, together with our partners, to demonstrate the importance of helpful partnerships between government and the private sector in addressing African challenges. In Ghana, we, in the context of our digitalisation programme, have put the private sector at front and centre. We've done so for three reasons.
The private sector is the source of a lot of innovation in the technology space. The private sector can bring a lot of financing to the table and the private sector also has an incentive to keep the systems that we deploy working efficiently. Furthermore, the Ghanaian government is proud of our partnership with Google through several initiatives. Together, we have enabled job creation through the launching of the Artificial Intelligence Research Centre. The only one in Africa which is based in Accra, Ghana.
Investment in education through the signing of the Master Sponsored Research Agreement between Ghanaian universities, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences and Google. I am happy to mention that 25% of the recipients of the computer scientist female scholarships are Ghanaian. Together, we can do more to benefit our people.
The Ghanaian government remains committed to working with like minded private sector corporations, such as Google, that are committed to helping us create a better country and continent for our people. On this note, I wish you all very fruitful deliberations and a very fruitful event. Thank you for your attention. Thank you, Your Excellency, Dr. Bawumia. Hi everyone! I'm Niral Patel, and I lead the Google Cloud business across Africa.
Africa is on the cusp of a digital transformation, with 300 million people coming online in the next five years. And their technology needs will be very different. That is why businesses are embracing cloud to innovate rapidly and solve challenges more nimbly. On a personal note, it's also why I joined Google because I saw incredible potential to support businesses and individuals, across Africa, as we grow together in this digital age. Working in partnership with public and private organisations, Google plays a role in solving the biggest challenges on the continent and accelerating growth in Africa.
One of these challenges is ensuring we protect our environment. This is why we operate the cleanest cloud in the industry. Google Cloud has been carbon neutral since 2007 and working toward the goal of operating entirely on carbon free energy by 2030. This would make us the first cloud provider to achieve this important milestone. At its heart, we are a company that solves challenges at scale. Whether you are a large enterprise or startup, in any industry, Google Cloud can support your digital transformation with the same technologies that power our own products like search, YouTube, maps and Gmail.
Since our inception, we have innovated in areas such as big data, application and infrastructure modernisation. We offer a unique approach to security known as “zero trust”. That means constantly verifying security credentials across the cloud network, and trusting nothing by default. This, combined with our multi-cloud open source approach across an unparalleled global network, means our customers and partners can build flexible, scalable solutions to future proof their businesses. Google is strongly committed to our partners.
We believe they bring significant value to our customers. Through training and certifications, our partners are building an open, healthy ecosystem that provides customers with choice and creates employment opportunities across Africa. With the support of our partners, those customers have been able to transform their businesses by using our cloud capabilities. Imagine how much it takes to keep an e-commerce platform operating during high traffic periods like Black Friday. South African retailer Takealot knows! They serve 3 million customers and conduct nearly half of South Africa's online retail purchases.
Takealot built their e-commerce platform on Google Cloud, to allow them to handle such high traffic periods. We've seen that when businesses don't have to focus on managing infrastructure, they are freed up to do great things. Companies like Twiga Foods, based out of Kenya, which seeks to address and improve food security in Africa, benefit from Google Cloud’s scalable infrastructure. Twiga Foods is a technology driven company and connects more than a thousand farmers with 140,000 vendors, providing consumers with access to high quality foods and products across 12 cities in Kenya. Today, we are deepening our commitment to investing in Africa's digital transformation.
I am excited to officially announce our intent to open a Google Cloud region in South Africa, our first on the continent. South Africa, joins Google Cloud's global network of 35 cloud regions and 106 zones worldwide. The new region will allow for localisation of applications and services, making it easier and faster for businesses to use. Our Compute Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Analytics tools to make smarter decisions. 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. With this announcement, we are committed to helping businesses across industries adopt new technologies to accelerate Africa's digital transformation and unleash new opportunities for everyone. Let's innovate together. Let's build for Africa's future. It's my pleasure to now introduce South Africa's Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies.
Philly Mapulane Thank you. Fellow Africans. Greetings on behalf of the Government of the Republic of South Africa. I wish to extend a special greeting to the Vice President of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the Google Africa team, dignitaries and members of the press. My name is Philly Mapulane.
I am the Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies in the Republic of South Africa. It is my pleasure to address the 2022 Google for Africa event. Technology has a significant role to play in eradicating poverty, reducing unemployment and inequality. Equitable and affordable access to technology is an important catalyst in the digital transformation journey of economies across the globe.
Enabling equal, affordable access to connectivity for all Africans, is a start to unleashing our full potential in digital markets. In South Africa, the financial and commercial sectors have drastically moved to a largely online environment where mobile apps are being utilised as a prime mode for banking transactions, shopping and communications. Our National Development Plan 2030 calls for stimulating growth in the ICT sector and innovation by driving public and private ICT investment, especially in network upgrades and expansion. Since the COVID 19 pandemic, we have witnessed a fibre to the home (FTTH) service adoption, resulting in significant growth in FTTH subscription confirmed to have reached 3.2 million households. Google's recent landing of the Equiano cable in Cape Town, for which I was privileged to witness its launch, will undoubtedly lead to the improvement of the speed and reduce the internet costs and has the potential to drive much fuller Internet participation for more South Africans.
It is a fact that submarine cables contributed to a 6.1% growth in South Africa's GDP per capita in the years between 2009 and 2014. We are pleased to learn of the new Google Cloud region that will be opening in South Africa, the first Google Cloud region on the African continent.
I am hopeful that this significant infrastructure investment will further boost our country's technological capabilities, enabling faster and more cost effective decision making and innovation. It's up to all of us to make this country better, inclusive, equal and filled with opportunities. Government and the private sector both have an important role to play, and I look forward to seeing how Google and others can continue to contribute. I thank you! I want to go to Nairobi, how much will I pay you? Aya, Nairobi 5,000/ Grandma I am getting married. Thank you and God bless. Thank you Honourable Deputy Minister for those kind words.
<i>Muraho neza!</i> <i>Nishimiye kubaha ikaze uyu munsi! </i> <i>Nitwa Agnes Gathaiya.</i> I'm the Country Director for Google for East Africa. That was me testing a new functionality that I'm going to tell you about.
Africa is my home and I continue to be inspired by the richness of our diversity the people, cultures, landscapes, and indeed languages. Africans speak an estimated 2000 languages spread across the continent, but less than 1% of them are represented online. Imagine being able to shop online and send a birthday message to a friend, get directions, access the whole internet in the language of your choice as easily as you can in English. It has been said if you talk to a person in a language that they understand, that goes to their head. If you talk to them in their own language, that goes to their heart. Most of us interact with technology through keyboards and our keyboards.
Currently support more than 200 languages spoken on the continent. We'll also be making these available for Android developers to use on their own apps. Whenever you type on your Gboard, whether it's a chat message, an email or an address on Google Maps. You can now also use your voice to dictate text.
In addition to this, we have also made progress in ensuring letters and accents that contribute to the richness of our African language are available for text messaging on devices, communicating via text can be hard enough when you have a full set of letters available that you can use in your language. African languages that use the Latin writing system have been further hindered, lacking technology support for the full set of letters and accent marks that they use. The absence of a correct accent in Lingala, for example, confuses the words “head” and “fire”. And in Bambara, “to say” becomes “to greet” through the addition of a few pixels.
This is why we recently expanded our Questrial font to include a newly defined African Latin glyphs set. Text on devices can now be accurately spelled and correctly communicate the meaning of words that to date has not been possible. Every day in partnership with Google, academics, developers and communities are working hard to make our languages accessible through the Crowdsource Initiative, communities help train machine learning models and improve speech recognition technology, using speech donations from thousands of Africans.
The innovations I've mentioned here are some of the outcomes and we look forward to seeing new ones unfold. It is, however, not just through language that Africans are able to increasingly navigate the world around them, using digital tools. To make maps more useful, we have refreshed Street View in several African countries, including Kenya, South Africa and Senegal, delivering nearly 300,000 kilometres of coverage across the continent, helping people virtually explore and navigate neighbourhoods through panoramic street view images right on Google Maps. And we just announced our plan to extend this service to Rwanda, which means that Street View is now supported in 11 African countries. And is not just about localising our existing products. Last year, our AI Accra Research Centre announced the Open Buildings dataset, which mapped buildings across Africa using machine learning and satellite imagery.
This dataset has more than tripled the number of buildings mapped across the continent and has been used by a broad range of organisations to plan land mine clean-ups, map economic distribution and support population census planning, to name a few. This dataset is being expanded to South and Southeast Asia and can be used for better planning of public health, such as vaccine rollout, disaster response, resource allocation and much more. This is a great example of building for Africa and the world.
Solving for some of Africa's most important challenges, and then using innovation driven by those projects to help others worldwide as well. To continue to fulfil this ambition. We recently announced the opening of our first African product development centre in Nairobi, Kenya. The talented and creative Africans joining our teams will help us create helpful products and services for the continent and around the world.
I'm excited to see what they come up with. To help these and other job seekers on the continent, we recently launched Interview Warmup, a tool that uses machine learning to help people practise for interviews and get more confident and comfortable with the interview process. Take a look! Igoma: Getting back into the workforce could be challenging for a new mother and also for someone like me who is going into a new career.
I took the Google Project Management Certificate and because of that, I can make a career change. I'm in the process of looking for jobs. Usually when I'm preparing for interviews, I'm always nervous because I don't know what they want, I don't know how my answers will be received, I don't know if I'm saying the right things.
Jasmin: In almost every country around the world, job openings in fast-growing, high-paying fields like IT Support, UX Design, Project Management, and Data Analytics continue to climb. So Google started the Career Certificate Program but we found that the one thing that learners had a hard time with was interviewing. So we tried to think, "Could we use machine learning "and large language models to build a tool to help you practice for a job interview?" We started working with the Certificate learners to understand how could we help.
With Interview Warmup, we transcribe what you're saying and analyze your answers, showing where you repeat a word or where it's useful to use key terms in your answer. [Device]: What are you looking for in your next job? Igoma: A place where there's opportunity to be innovative. By yourself, you may not really have the confidence to go for that job interview but the tool helps me sound more professional. When I hear about women who break glass ceilings, I'm inspired and motivated. I want to be one of those women. E kaaro, good morning.
I'm Ola Fadipe and I'm a Senior Director in People Operations at Google. It's great to be here with you today. It's so rewarding to see how we can use artificial intelligence to equip jobseekers with interviewing skills so they can land jobs. With a population set to double by 2050, an exciting startup scene and huge opportunities across the continent. All eyes are on Africa's digital transformation. This is why we are collaborating with startups, entrepreneurs, creatives and jobseekers to help create and grow businesses and careers that unlock economic growth and prosperity for all.
Entrepreneurship is a key path to that economic growth. With Google for Start-Ups, we continue to support entrepreneurs who are solving local problems. Take Ghanaian startup Tendo, which focuses on enabling African businesses to sell online without capital investment. With the backing of the Google for Startups Accelerator programme, it’s onboarded merchants in Ghana and recently started operating in Nigeria.
Another great example is PAPS from Senegal, which uses technology to allow businesses to effectively manage their logistics needs. Having already expanded to Ivory Coast, they are now targeting further growth on the continent. As a recipient of the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund Africa.
Our recently announced second cohort of the fund will support 60 African start-ups with $4 million in equity free funding, up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credits, mentorship and core business and technical training. I am proud to say 50% of these are women led. We also want to help Africa's jobseekers.
The growth in remote working and the African startup scene has created great demand for tech skills on the continent. Training and certifying developers on emerging technologies allows them to use the certification to get jobs and be competitive in the market. Here are some examples of how we supported jobseekers.
Firstly, through our Google Career Certificates programme, based on last year's graduates survey responses, 87% of certificate graduates have reported a positive career outcome within six months of completion. Secondly, the Google Africa Developer Scholarship Programme has helped train more than 105,000 developers from Africa on Android, Web and Google Cloud Technologies, exceeding the commitment we made to train 100,000 developers across Africa in 2017. Lastly, our partnership with Kenya's Ministry of Education, the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority and the Africa Centre for Advanced Technology allowed us to train 300 tutors from 45 TVET institutions across Kenya. These tutors will help support learners in gaining the technical skills required by the job market. We also know that investing in African talent isn't just about building skills for the world of business. Today, African creators are reshaping the creative landscape by putting an alternative spin to today's music, fashion and art.
These creatives turn to YouTube and YouTube shorts to connect with global audiences that identify with their niche. A good example of this is the budding Alté movement. Kenyan singer and songwriter Karun defines alternative art as something authentic and not fitting into a mainstream box.
Alté has reached more than 130 million people to date. As part of supporting this movement, we developed Eko For Show on Google Arts and Culture, a collaboration with seven cultural institutions. This online exhibition showcases the stories of emerging African creatives in music, fashion, art, food and sports. The Google Arts and Culture Platform is also aimed at helping to digitise and preserve our stories and culture. Mali Magic, for example, explores the culture of Mali by shining a light on heroic stories in a digital collection of sound and story like no other. Whether it's the legendary Timbuktu manuscripts which have been digitally preserved or a taste of the Mali art and music scene, or exploring monuments in 3D...
You can discover all this and more through the Google Arts and culture mobile app or online. We also support innovators who are demonstrating new thinking in the journalism space, through the Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge. Since launch, we selected 77 projects from Africa, the Middle East and Turkey, and this year's projects have been allocated $3.2 million in funding. One of the recipients ‘Quote This Woman+’, a non-profit company from South Africa, will be using the funding to build a tool to provide women plus sources to newsrooms and journalists to diversify sources in news coverage. I mentioned the creator community a little earlier. Take a look at this video about the YouTube Black Voices Fund, which shares a little about how these creators are using digital channels to bring their content to the world.
Enjoy! I love it! YouTube Black has taught me a whole lot of things and how to really be a good creative. My channel is basically my own reality show it's more like keeping up with Tomike. The classes have completely changed my mindset of how I want to keep producing content and my channel has grown exponentially thanks to my YouTube Black funding. There are no restrictions, you can literally be you and make money.
It's up to you to pick up the camera and just press record. Good morning or good afternoon depending on where you are joining us from. It's a real pleasure to be here. I'm Diana Layfield, vice president of International Search and Growth. And I'm enormously grateful for this opportunity to speak with you today.
Africa holds a special place in my heart. I've lived and worked on the continent in a number of different roles, including as a medical relief pilot. I've seen first hand how when we work together to solve challenges, we can achieve so much more. That's why I'm excited to see how we're working together with our partners across Africa to build together for Africa.
As you've just heard from Ola and seen in the YouTube Black Voices video, Africa is teeming with talent, and that is something I can absolutely attest to. That spirit of creativity is what keeps us inspired to build together, creating the environments we all need to live in and thrive. People's quest for knowledge often begins with a question or a search, and that is at the heart of what we strive to do at Google: organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
That combination of creativity and knowledge is what really drives innovation We see this creativity and knowledge every day in Africa, particularly through its entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs and innovators in the continent, are creating breakthrough technologies that will fundamentally improve lives for Africans and for others worldwide too. That's why we launched the Startups for Sustainable Development Programme. It supports start ups through mentoring, networking and technology and frees them up to focus on their unique value and impact. Startups like Zzapp Malaria, that develops an AI based system for planning, executing and monitoring malaria elimination campaigns. Or Emergency Response Africa, that works to ensure that there are enough first responders to deliver emergency medical care in minutes.
And Tolbi, that integrates satellite imagery, crop models and AI to share real time information with small scale farmers in their local language, enabling better agricultural decision making. I know that you share our excitement about the potential of this innovation and the need to accelerate it. As you heard from Nitin at the beginning of today's event, we've now made progress on our $1 billion commitment to Africa over the next five years. This has already enabled development in key infrastructure areas that will help drive Africa's digital transformation like Equiano, our undersea cable, which is on track to help add $17 billion in economic growth and create nearly 2 million jobs across its host countries. Or our New Africa Product Development Centre in Kenya, in Nairobi. And as Niral mentioned earlier, we're really excited about our plan to open Google's first cloud region on the continent.
Cloud will help businesses across different industries adopt new technologies to accelerate Africa's digital transformation and unleash new opportunities for everyone. Looking back at today's announcements, it's clear to me that we need to work together to build the skills, talent, access and resources that Africa needs. We remain convinced that we can achieve our joint goal of a more prosperous Africa because we know that when we work together, anything is possible. I hope you all enjoyed watching Google for Africa as much as I have. We're very grateful to every single one of you for joining us today and want to give a special thank you to His Excellency, Vice President of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and the Honourable Deputy Minister of Communications
and Digital Technologies in South Africa, Philly Mapulane. Thank you for joining us. Until we meet again, we look forward to working with you in building for Africa.