Zambia to Connect to Global Fiber Network Through Google’s UMOJA Project

Through its subsidiary, Google Cloud, the company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Technology and Science.

American technology giant Google has entered the Zambian market to revolutionize the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, spurred by incentives provided by the government.

Through its subsidiary, Google Cloud, the company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Technology and Science. This agreement will lead to the establishment of a Center of Excellence focused on digital transformation and innovation, offering skills development and fostering knowledge sharing.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Lusaka, Technology and Science Minister Hon. Felix Mutati disclosed that the government’s incentives to the private sector have been instrumental in attracting Google’s investment in Zambia. He noted that since these incentives were introduced a year ago, internet penetration has increased from 53% to 64%. Over the past year, the private sector has laid 5,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable, contributing to a total of 25,000 kilometers laid since Zambia’s independence in 1964, which has significantly boosted internet connectivity.

“We provided incentives to the private sector last year, and since then, we have witnessed substantial growth in internet penetration. The introduction of 5G technology is particularly noteworthy. This boost in internet speed and penetration, along with other incentives, has made Zambia an attractive destination for Google’s entry into our ICT sector,” Minister Mutati stated.

The Minister expressed optimism that the arrival of Google Cloud will enhance the quality of life for Zambians. He also emphasized the government’s commitment to leveraging the opportunities presented by Artificial Intelligence (AI) to benefit the nation.

Manuel Greisinger, Google Cloud’s Director of Global Strategic Initiatives, announced that Zambia will be connected to UMOJA, a fiber optic project extending from Kenya through South Africa to Australia. Mr. Greisinger highlighted that UMOJA will facilitate Zambia’s rapid adaptation to AI, enhancing both government services and private sector activities. He stressed the importance of harnessing technological advancements for national development.

Dr. Brilliant Habeenzu, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Technology and Science, expressed hope that the MoU would accelerate Zambia’s development. Dr. Habeenzu, who signed the MoU on behalf of the government, noted that Google’s presence brings substantial benefits to the country.

Milimo Munyati, Executive Chairperson of the Women in Technology Network, stated that the MoU will significantly support digital transformation mentorship initiatives. She assured that her organization will fully leverage the partnership to ensure all women benefit from technological advancements.

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