Google on Wednesday committed $10 million (Ksh1.1 billion) to support economic recovery in Kenya, which has been battered by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“To continue to support the economic recovery in Kenya, we are committing an additional $10 million to go towards loans for small businesses, support for tech startups, and grants for underserved communities,” said Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and Alphabet.
He said the company will do more in future to help more people and businesses in Kenya and across Africa.
Mr Pichai joined President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday at a a digital event hosted by the Corporate Council on Africa.
Of the $10 million, some $2 million will go towards local nonprofits via Google.org, to help communities recover from the pandemic; $3 million will be given as loans to small business to help businesspeople get through the economic hardship created by Covid-19; while $5 million will be used to support Kenyan tech startups.
In September 2020, Google announced support for African businesses, job seekers and educational institutions in navigating the pandemic. To date, the company has worked with more than 300,000 small and medium enterprises to digitise their businesses and provide them an online presence by building for them Google Business Profiles and business sites.
Twenty Kenyan technology-enabled companies have graduated from the Google for Startups Accelerator programmes, where entrepreneurs receive access to Google’s mentors, products and best practices. Through Google for Education, more than 2,000 teachers, educators and guardians have been trained on remote teaching and learning, and online safety.