19 June 2024

American technology giant Google has entered the Zambian market to revolutionalise the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector following incentives given by the government.

Google, through it’s subsidiary, Google Cloud, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Technology and Science which will see the construction of a Center of Excellence in digital transformation, innovation, offering skills development and knowledge sharing.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Lusaka, Technology and Science Minister Hon. Felix Mutati has disclosed that the incentives given to the private sector have played a key role in compelling Google to invest in Zambia.

He also disclosed that since the incentives were given a year ago, internet penetration has risen from 53% to 64%.

Mr. Mutati says in the last one year alone, the private sector has laid 5,000 kilometers of fibre optic, which brings the total to 25,000 kilometres of fibre optic laid since Zambia got its independence in 1964, this has significantly increased internent penetration.

“We gave incentives to the private sector last year and what we have witnessed is growth in internet penetration in the past one year. We even saw the entry of 5G which is impressive. This increase in Internet speed, penetration and other incentives given to the private sector has given Google a compelling reason to enter our ICT space,” said Mr. Mutati.

The Minister is hopeful that the coming of Google Cloud will help improve people’s lives.

He also said government is keen on utilising the opportunities that Artificial Intelligence is bringing to the nation.

And Google Cloud Director Global Strategic Initiatives Manuel Greisinger said the company is connecting Zambia to UMOJA, a fibre optic project which will run from Kenya through South Africa to Australia

Mr. Greisinger said UMOJA will help Zambia adapt fast to artificial intelligence so that government services and private sector work can be enhanced.

He said there is need for Zambia to harness the power of technology.

Meanwhile, Women in Technology Network Executive Chairperson Milimo Munyati said the signing of the MoU will enhance the work of those providing mentorship on digital transformation.

Ms. Munyati said her organisation will fully embrace the partnership to ensure that all women benefit from technology.


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