Google enters Zambian market, promises to revolutionise ICT sector with new center of excellence


American technology giant Google has entered the Zambian market with plans to revolutionize the country’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.

Through its subsidiary Google Cloud, the company had signed an agreement with the government to establish a Center of Excellence in digital transformation and innovation.

This center would focus on skills development and knowledge sharing.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Lusaka on Wednesday, Technology and Science Minister, Felix Mutati, attributed Google’s decision to enter the Zambian market to the incentives provided to the private sector.

Claims are that these incentives have contributed to significant growth in internet penetration, which rose from 53 percent to 64 percent in the past year.

“The private sector has laid 5,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable in the last year, bringing the total to 25,000 kilometers since Zambia’s independence in 1964. This infrastructure expansion has played a crucial role in attracting Google to invest in Zambia,” Mutati stated.

He expressed optimism that Google Cloud’s presence would positively impact people’s lives and enhance government services.

“We provided incentives to the private sector last year, resulting in impressive growth, including the introduction of 5G technology,” Mutati added.

Mutati also emphasized government’s commitment to leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) opportunities for national development.

Manuel Greisinger, Google Cloud Director of Global Strategic Initiatives, highlighted that Google would connect Zambia to UMOJA, a fiber optic project running from Kenya through South Africa to Australia.

Read More: Zambia reports 60% increase in revenue collection, govt attributes growth to use of artificial intelligence

This connection aims to accelerate Zambia’s adoption of AI and enhance government and private sector operations.

“There is a need for Zambia to harness the power of technology, and UMOJA will play a crucial role in this endeavor,” Greisinger affirmed.

Milimo Munyati, Executive Chairperson of Women in Technology Network, welcomed the agreement, stating that it would bolster efforts in digital transformation mentorship.

She pledged her organization’s full support to ensure that all women benefit from technological advancements.

The agreement signified a pivotal moment for Zambia’s ICT sector, promising advancements in digital skills, innovation, and connectivity.

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