21st March 2023
  • 9:11 pm Through the Eyes of Ides Ofune – Women Shouldn’t Have to Choose Between Motherhood and Higher Education
  • 11:32 am Meet the 2022 shortlisted authors for the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing.
  • 5:13 am 6 African startups among World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers 2022 cohort
  • 1:01 pm Canadian Based NGO GoldenKes Foundation holds First Empowerment Program in Nigeria 
  • 5:38 am Meet the 6 Africans shortlisted for 2022 Commonwealth Short Story Prize
  • 7:49 am Facebook invests in fibre optic cables to improve internet access in Edo State

One of the major problems that Africa faces is its dependency on other countries for its most basic needs including medical and digital products. Although the Continent is home to several creative and innovative minds, most of these ideas rarely come alive due to the lack of infrastructure and funding. The investments made by Google and the African Development Bank promises to solve the problems that Africa is currently facing.  

AFDB to invest $3 billion in Pharmaceuticals.

Dr Akinwunmi Adesina announced that the African Development Bank is investing $3 billion dollars to support drug and vaccine production on the Continent.

In an address to the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the President of African Development Bank, Dr Adesina expressed his thoughts on the need for a healthcare defence system on the Continent. This system would be in place to tackle epidemics which could occur after Covid 19. He also insisted that Africa must develop its own pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity.  

The bank has earlier supported the World Health Organization with $2 million to increase WHO’s capacity for infection prevention, testing and case management. 

It also funded the Africa Centres For Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) with $28 million to support its Covid-19 response project.  

This is good news following the announcement of the approved malaria vaccine for children earlier in the month.

Google invests $1 billion dollars into Africa’s digital transformation, $50 million in startups.

    Google has announced its plans to invest $1 billion dollars to support digital transformation across Africa. This transformation will include landing a subsea cable into the continent to enable faster internet speeds, low-interest loans for small businesses, equity investments into African startups, skills training and more.

   The Managing Director for Google in Africa, Nitin Gajria explained that the subsea cable will cut across South Africa, Namibia, Nigeria and St Helena, connecting Africa and Europe. It would also provide approximately 20 times more network capacity than the last cable built to serve Africa. Gajria added that one of the expected results from this investment is a 21% reduction in internet prices and increased internet speed in Nigeria and almost triple in South Africa.

   This reduction is a welcome change, considering the high internet prices in Nigeria. The initiative will also solve the problem of unemployment as it will provide 1.7 million jobs in Nigeria and South Africa by 2025.

   The Tech giant had earlier announced the launch of the Africa Investment Fund. It plans to invest $50 million in start-ups across Africa. Presently, 50 startups have been selected to participate in the program which commenced on October 13. Each of these startups will receive $100,000 in equity-free capital along with credits from Google Cloud, Google.org ads grants and additional support. 

  In addition, the investment fund seeks to support women—as 40% of the 50 startups selected are women-led. 

It also aims to support startups in less-funded and overlooked regions like Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

  With these investments, the dream of ‘Made in Africa’ is slowly becoming a reality.

Ruth Torty

Ruth Torty is a biochemist, and freelance science writer. She writes to shed light on health issues, rare diseases and science research in Nigeria. She is also a creative writer and has published on different literary sites including Spillwords and Nnoko Stories. She is passionate about genomics and its role in healthcare.