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Emerging Tech

ATF 2023: Google's Alex Okosi on AI, cloud & digital skills

Google's Managing Director for Africa, Alex Okosi, spoke to Connecting Africa Editor Paula Gilbert at Africa Tech Festival 2023 about Google's strategy for growth in 2024 including key focus areas like artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, and digital skills development.

"The reality is that the Internet has incredible potential for Africans, and I think connectivity is one of the things that we are really driving at. For us as Google we want to make that transformative change, and be part of making that happen. We know that if more Africans are online, the potential that has to unlock so much economic growth for us, it's going to be tremendous," he said.

At the end of 2021 Google pledged to invest $1 billion over five years to support Africa's digital transformation and Okosi said Google has been implementing that strategy to support better connectivity and digital skills development.

He spoke about Google's Equiano subsea cable which has landed in several markets on Africa's west coast and discussed Google Africa's AI strategy including its AI-powered search and how local businesses can harness the potential of AI.

Okosi gave an update on plans to launch a Google Cloud region in South Africa, which he said will likely happen in 2024 and has the potential to create around 50,000 jobs over time.

Other topics covered included digital skills training to empower the youth through Google for Startups Accelerator programs as well as local content creation and the success of African Youtubers.

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

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