Google wants to see the power of the Internet better harnessed in Africa so that the economy across the continent improves.
The company discussed this in a post on its Europe Policy blog, and in this video uploaded to the Google Africa YouTube channel:
Google Africa sponsored a study from Dalberg Global Development Advisors exploring the Internet's impact on Africa's economy, which among other things, found that small and medium enterprises are "surprisingly optimistic" about the Internet's potential. Over 80% of SME owners expect that it will help them grow their business, Google says.
"It reveals how Internet-enabled services are affecting the public and private sectors in agriculture, health, finance, education, governance, energy & transport, and SME growth," writes Google Africa Policy and Government Relations Manager Ory Okolloh. "The report also analyses the pre-conditions for impact, looking at both business and ICT infrastructure as well as factors that influence how and why users get online. The findings are based on a survey of 1,300 organizations in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Senegal."
"In addition, the report identifies big opportunities for cost savings as businesses shift to enterprise systems powered by the Internet," Okolloh says. "For example, in Kenya the National Health Insurance Fund reduced its administrative costs from 60% to 32% by automating its claims processing, accessing real-time data and tracking payment processes. In agriculture, access to online information is creating price transparency, improving supply chain management and providing climate and growth data which ultimately reduces costs and increases farmer incomes."
You can access the report here.
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt recently predicted that the entire world will be on the Internet by 2020.