Google plans to invest $1 billion in Africa over the next five years to ensure access to fast and cheaper internet and will back startups to support the continent’s digital transformation, Reuters reported.
The unit of U.S. tech company Alphabet Inc made the announcement at a virtual event where it launched an Africa Investment Fund, through which it will invest $50 million in startups, providing them with access to its employees, network and technologies.
“We are specifically looking at fintech logistics, e-commerce, local language content but again we are not limiting ourselves to these verticals but we are really looking at this across a number of verticals. We are looking at areas that might have some strategic overlap with google and where google could potentially add value in partnering with some of these startups,” said Nitin Gajria, the managing director for Google in Africa
According to the report in collaboration with not-for-profit organisation Kiva, Google will also provide $10 million in low interest loans to help small businesses and entrepreneurs in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa so they can get through the economic hardship created by COVID-19.
Small businesses in Africa often struggle to get capital because they lack the necessary collateral required by banks in case they default. When credit is available, interest rates are usually too high.
Google said a programme pioneered last year in Kenya in partnership with Safaricom that allows customers to pay for 4G-enabled phones in instalments would be expanded across the continent with mobile operators such as MTN, Orange and Vodacom.
Gajria said an undersea cable being built by Google to link Africa and Europe should come into service in the second half of next year and is expected to increase internet speed and lower data costs, Reuters reported.
“We are expecting a 21 percent reduction in data cost, we are expecting 3-5 times faster internet speed in South Africa and Nigeria, as an example. We are also expecting job creation about 1.7 million jobs to be generated across South Africa and Nigeria through both directly in the digital sector, but also in the peripheral sectors.” Nitin Gajria said.
The team also launched the project ‘Cradle of Creativity’ under the Google arts and culture product to promote African ancient and contemporary art works digitally.
Facebook plans to hire 10,000 in EU to build ‘metaverse’
Facebook Inc (FB.O) plans to hire 10,000 in the European Union over the next five years, the social media giant said on Monday, to help build the so-called metaverse – a nascent online world where people exist and communicate in shared virtual spaces, Reuters reported.
This would be a significant step the company is taking towards the concept, something top boss Mark Zuckerberg has touted in recent months.
According to the report in September, Facebook committed $50 million towards building the metaverse, where companies like Roblox Corp (RBLX.N) and “Fortnite” maker Epic Games have an early foothold.
The company earlier launched a test of a new virtual-reality remote work app where users of the company’s Oculus Quest 2 headsets can hold meetings as avatar versions of themselves, read the report.
Facebook also said in July it was creating a product team to work on the metaverse which would be part of Facebook Reality Labs, its augmented reality and virtual reality group, Reuters reported.
“This investment (in new jobs) is a vote of confidence in the strength of the European tech industry and the potential of European tech talent,” the company said.
“Europe is hugely important to Facebook.”
NASA probe will study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids
— NASA (@NASA) October 16, 2021
It focuses on the Trojan asteroids, which are two large clumps of space rocks orbiting the sun. One floats ahead of Jupiter and the other behind it.
Scientists believe the rocks are leftovers from the formation of our solar system.
The probe is called “Lucy” and NASA hopes it will help us learn more about our solar system’s history.
The asteroids are also rich in carbon compounds, and may provide insights into organic materials and life on Earth.
Nokia to release upgraded version of its classic 6310 ‘brick phone’
Nokia releasing an upgraded version of its classic 6310 “brick phone” to mark 20 years since the first original model was released.
The Finnish telecommunications company HMD Global, makers of Nokia devices, said the new version would have the original shape of the classic 6310 with a long battery life.
“The new Nokia 6310 has a host of new features including bigger buttons, zoomed-in menus, a wireless FM radio, and more…all packaged in the iconic shape of the original Nokia 6310,” the Nokia tweeted.
Meanwhile, the long battery life and tough “brick” design remain in place, Nokia said.
But some specifications have been altered for the new model – such as a camera and more memory have also been added to the updated version of the original 6310.
Moreover, the device still features the popular, low-tech game Snake.
The original Nokia 6310 model went on sale in March 2001 and quickly became one of the most popular devices in the world.
The device became popular for its tough “brick” design and long-lasting battery.
Nokia has announced that the new 6310 will first be available for customers in the UK at a cost of £59.99 ($82), news agencies reported.
Colin Powell has died of COVID complications
First consignment of Afghan goods exported under IEA rule
Karzai says Pakistan must not interfere in Afghanistan’s affairs
U.S. Secretary of State Blinken discusses Afghanistan with Qatar
Russia-led bloc holds large-scale drills near Tajik-Afghan border
Thousands flee as volcano erupts on Spain’s La Palma island, homes destroyed
Boxer Manny Pacquiao to run for Philippine president in 2022
40 suspects arrested in connection with Nangarhar explosions
Pakistan discussing expansion of CPEC to Afghanistan
Collapse of former govt, military rooted in US deal with IEA: CENTCOM chief
Sola: Russia’s concerns over possible threats from Afghanistan discussed
Tahawol: IEA’s trip to Turkey discussed
Sola: Moscow summit on Afghanistan discussed
Tahawol: Recognition of the Islamic Emirate by the world
Tahawol: G20 summit on Afghanistan discussed
Latest News5 days ago
Suicides among Japanese children at record high during pandemic -media
Latest News4 days ago
US working to make charter flights from Afghanistan more routine: Report
Business4 days ago
Pakistan Airlines suspends Afghan operations citing IEA interference
Latest News4 days ago
Putin says Iraq, Syria militants entering Afghanistan
Latest News5 days ago
IEA delegation leaves Kabul for visit to Turkey
Featured4 days ago
Children evacuated from schools as violence breaks out in Beirut
World5 days ago
Danish man suspected of killing five with bow-and-arrow in Norway
Business5 days ago
Afghan Civil Aviation Authority warns PIA and Kam Air to drop ticket prices