Africa has the potential to be the next great epicenter of economic development. It just needs a push in the right direction, and Google's latest project may just be the push it needs.
On Wednesday evening, Google announced Project Link - a new initiative that will see Google bringing Fiber-backed Internet to developing areas in Africa. At the start, it will only be available in Uganda - specifically the city of Kampala. From the sounds of it, however, it looks like Google wants to expand the service to more of Africa as more cities get connected to the Internet.
Before you start thinking Project Link is like many of the organizations dedicated to connecting Africans to the Internet, it should be noted that this is not a charity. Google is merely providing a Fiber-backed infrastructure that local ISPs and mobile carriers can pay to connect to. ISPs will definitely want to connect to Google's network, however, as it would allow them to offer better service to their customers.
Google also put together a little video to show how the Internet is transforming lives in Africa and how Project Link will help that along:
Project Link isn't the first time Google has dabbled in delivering faster, more reliable Internet to the people of Africa. Earlier this year, Google unveiled Project Loon - an initiative that will see Google launching solar powered balloons that will deliver fast Wi-Fi to people in developing regions. While Project Link is not nearly as ambitious, it's far more likely to succeed. It may even help get some noteworthy critics to finally accept that delivering better Internet access to Africans is an important cause worth championing.[Image: Project Link]