Google Kenya announced a disbursement of $10 million to support the economic recovery of small and medium enterprises across Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, and Nigeria during their virtual Google Kenya event.
Previously, the investment has been made official by Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai in an online Google for Africa event.
The plan is to invest $1billion over 5 years to support Africa’s digital transformation, with a focus on enabling fast, affordable internet access for more Africans; building helpful products; supporting entrepreneurship and small business, and helping non-profits to improve lives across Africa.
Non-profit organization, KIVA, will oversee the disbursement of the low-interest loans to help the SMEs get through the economic hardship created by COVID-19.
Agnes Gathaiya, Country Director, Google Eastern Africa announced that, “KIVA has engaged two local financial service providers who are going to be disbursing the loans in Kenya in the next few weeks. Together with those partners, we shall be sharing modalities of how to apply for the loans.”
To celebrate Mashujaa Day, Google also launched the largest online exhibition dedicated to the life and legacy of photojournalist Mohamed Amin as part of Google Arts & Culture’s continued commitment to preserving and sharing Kenya’s heritage.
The year-long digitization project has been jointly implemented by Google Arts & Culture and the Mohamed Amin Foundation. Spearheaded by Salim Amin, the online exhibition ‘Mo Amin: Eye of Africa’ shines light on four decades of the Kenyan photojournalist’s career and allows audiences to explore over 6,000 photographs and more than 50 stories representing a visual journey of the key moments, places and people that he documented in the late 20th century.
Combining our machine learning capabilities with background information that Salim and his team have researched in each image, you can now discover Mo’s rich legacy through themes and tags picked up by the machine-like safari rally, wildlife, and leaders in Africa.
Also, this is the first Google Arts & Culture Lab experiment in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Amb. (Dr.) Amina Mohamed, E.G.H., Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture & Heritage welcomed the launch saying the ‘Mo Amin: Eye of Africa’ is a celebration of the life, work, and legacy of Mohamed Amin, one of Kenya’s greatest sons. “This is yet another installment towards providing universal access to Kenya’s culture and heritage in Ethiopia Google Arts & Culture platform, following the launch of the online exhibitions: ‘Kenya National Archives’, ‘Utamaduni Wetu’ and ‘Kenyan Superheroes’ in 2015, 2020 and 2019 respectively.
Google also launched TaskMate, an app that simplifies the crowdsourcing of tasks from organizations and provides additional earning opportunities to users in Africa.
TaskMate also allows ordinary people to make some money by completing some jobs such as reviews.
The app is designed to make it easy to send small tasks, capable of being completed on a smartphone, to people all around the world.
Agnes Gathaiya said Kenya is the first country in the world where TaskMate was piloted and that the app is launching in Kenya first then Africa at a later date.
Today, Task Mate’s launch in Kenya marks the latest milestone in our journey. In light of the pandemic, where it has become more challenging for Kenyans to find earning opportunities, our mission has been made more urgent and important – Agnes Gathaiya