African Development Bank, Google partner to accelerate digital transformation

The agreement underscores a shared commitment to harness emerging technologies, extend and improve infrastructure

The African Development Bank (ADB) has partnered with Google to advance digital transformation across the continent.

The agreement underscores a shared commitment to harness emerging technologies, extend and improve infrastructure, and refine talent and skills in the continent.

Both parties have a history of fostering digital evolution. Over the past decade, the ADB has invested $1.9 billion in projects emphasising the development of broadband infrastructure, conducive policy and regulatory environments, digital skills, and innovative technology startups.

“Our journey from a 2% telephony penetration in 1998 to today’s era of 4G, 5G, and AI signifies immense progress,” said Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank. “With 70% of sub-Saharan Africans under 30, our focus is on catalyzing businesses to create jobs and offer innovative solutions.”

Google has been a longtime partner in Africa’s economic growth and digital transformation. The tech giant invested in a major submarine telecommunications cable – the Seacom cable – in 2005.

The company remains committed to digital transformation by supporting talent development, innovation, infrastructure, and regulatory advancements across the continent.

The organisation agreed to offer technical assistance to bolster entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises in digitising their businesses, securing financing, mastering digital marketing, and advancing private sector development.

“With advanced technologies like AI, the most profound transformation is yet to come,” said Dr. James Manyika, Google’s Senior Vice President of Research, Technology & Society.

“Collaboration will be essential if Africa is to realise this opportunity, building for everyone and ensuring no one is left behind. We are excited to collaborate with the African Development Bank to work towards this shared commitment.”