Supporting Kenya’s Economic Recovery

By Agnes Gathaiya

Like many economies, Kenya is reeling from the impact of Covid-19. Businesses have been hit during the pandemic and jobs have been lost. Many small businesses have had to figure out quickly how to pivot their operations to a ‘digital-first’ approach. Yesterday, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, joined President Uhuru Kenyatta in an event hosted by the Corporate Council on Africa and announced more ways in which Google will help Kenyan businesses and communities to recover and grow.

(ABOVE: Google CEO Sundar Pichai meeting with President Kenyatta where Google committed $10 million to support Kenya’s economic recovery).

Supporting economic recovery
In September 2020, we announced support for African businesses, job seekers and educational institutions in navigating the pandemic. Through Google for Education we trained over 2,000 teachers, educators and guardians on remote teaching and learning, and online safety, while 20 Kenyan technology-enabled companies have graduated from our Google for Startups Accelerator programs, where entrepreneurs receive access to Google’s mentors, products and best practices. We will continue to support Kenyan businesses, entrepreneurs, developers, education professionals, and other communities on the long road ahead towards economic recovery.

Helping Kenyan businesses, startups and communities
We’re committing $10 million (around Kshs 1.1 billion) to help drive economic recovery in Kenya, focusing on the following areas:

  • $2 million (Kshs 220 million) to local nonprofits via, to help underserved communities recover from the pandemic;
  • $3 million (Kshs 330 million) in small business loans to help Kenyan business people & entrepreneurs get through the economic hardship created by COVID-19;
  • $5 million (Kshs 550 million) to support Kenyan tech startups.

Economic recovery is also about digital transformation. Last year we released the Digital Sprinters report which offers a framework for emerging economies, like Kenya, to drive digital transformation and inclusive economic growth. By 2030, digital transformation could unlock $74 billion in economic impact in Kenya through policies that enable the full utilisation of digital technologies.

We’ll have more to announce in the next few months about how we’re helping more people and more businesses in Kenya and across Africa.

(Agnes Gathaiya is the Google Country Director, Kenya & Eastern Africa. This post has been republished from Google Africa blog).


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