(From Left) AfDB Vice President Solomon Quaynor, President Akinwumi Adesina and Google Senior VP James Manyika

AfDB, Google Collaborate on Digital Transformation in Africa

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and Google on Thursday formalized cooperation aimed at advancing digital transformation in Africa.

The parties signed a Letter of Intent during the Global Africa Business Initiative at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

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

Over the past decade, the AfDB says it has invested $1.9 billion in projects emphasizing 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. With 70% of sub-Saharan Africans under 30, our focus is on catalyzing businesses to create jobs and offer innovative solutions,” said Akinwunmi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank.

Along with AfDB, Google will offer technical assistance to bolster entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises in digitizing 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 James Manyika, Google’s Senior Vice President of Research, Technology & Society.

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