Tech giant, Google, has pledged a Ksh.1.1 billion (USD 10 million) package to support Kenya’s post Covid-19 recovery efforts.
The announcement was made Wednesday evening by Google’s Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai during a virtual meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta, on the sidelines of a public discussion on digital transformation in Africa organized by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA).
CCA is a trade association based in Washington DC, focusing on strengthening trade and commercial ties between the United States of America and African economies.
In addition to the multi-million dollar package, which includes Ksh.300 million to support small businesses, Ksh.500 million for Kenyan start ups and Ksh.200 million for charity, Mr. Pichai announced several other investments lined up by his organization for Kenya. He added that his company will expand its Google for Startups Accelerator program this year by supporting 100,000 businesses and 15,000 developers in Kenya.
In the education sector, Google will train 29,000 students and 1,800 teachers on remote learning using its Google Classroom platform.
President Kenyatta welcomed the post Covid-19 recovery support from Google and thanked the company for working closely with the Kenyan Government in driving digital transformation across the country in the 13 years of its operations in Kenya.
“Thank you and your team for being very close collaborators with Kenya over the years. We started our journey some almost two decades ago to try and start moving into the digital world. You have been a good part of that journey. A journey that has enabled many Kenyans through the use of technology and digitization to access financial services, knowledge and to enhance their business capacities,” the President said.
Moving forward, the President added that Kenya’s priority is translating the expanding internet connectivity in the country into tangible economic benefits for her people.
On his part, Mr Pichai said the Covid-19 pandemic had accelerated digital growth in Africa and assured President Kenyatta that Google will continue partnering with African Governments in the delivery of technology solutions.
ICT CS Joseph Mucheru, a former Google employee, attended the meetings alongside his Foreign Affairs counterpart Raychelle Omamo. State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita, his deputy in-charge of Strategy Mrs. Ruth Kagia and ICT PS Jerome Ochieng were also present.