Google Grants Kenya KES 1.1 Billion, Expands Startup Accelerator Program


Google has today announced that they have made a substantial grant and digital transformation efforts to Kenya.

This was announced yesterday evening by Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai during a virtual meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta. It was on the sidelines of a public discussion on digital transformation in Africa organized by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA).

Google’s $10 million ( KES 11 billion) grant package includes $3 million to support small businesses, $5 million for Kenyan startups and $2 million for charity.

In addition, Pichai said that Google will expand its Google for Startups Accelerator program this year by supporting 100,000 businesses and 15,000 developers in Kenya. Kenyan startups have been beneficiaries of Google’s Accelerator program before and this will extend that partnership.

Google intends to train 29,000 students and 1,800 teachers on remote learning using its Google Classroom platform.

“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,” President Uhuru said to Sundar Pichai. “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.” 

Mr Pichai also commented that the COVID-19 pandemic had accelerated digital growth in Africa and he assured the President that Google will continue to partner with African government in delivery of technology solutions.

President Uhuru commented that digital transformation supported by partners such as Google has seen the country rise to become “one of the startup capitals of the African continent.” This is actually the case from reports that we have seen by Briter Bridges and more.

The also said that Kenya’s priority is translating the expanding internet connectivity in the country to tangible economic benefits for her people. This statement comes after Google shut down the Loon project after President Uhuru announced its rollout to Kenya last year.


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