Alphabet Inc.’s Google (GOOGL - Free Report) division plans to open an Artificial Intelligence research center in Accra, Ghana later on in the year. AI has become quite important over the years, and Google’s plan to open a research center seems quite an exciting adventure for the company itself, as well as African startups and developers.
According to Forbes, 2017 was the best year for many African startups, as investment in these companies rose to $195 million by the end of the year. Although this decision of Google’s is the first of its kind, the company itself has done a lot of work on the continent in the past. It runs an initiative called the Launchpad Accelerator, which supports and helps local startups with their product or business. According to CNBC, Google Launchpad Accelerator in Africa supports 100,000 developers and 60 technology startups.
Google is interested in increasing development in Africa, as the tech giant sees the potential for innovation. A lot of money, especially internationally, is being spread across the continent. Hence, the International Monetary Fund stated that it projects Africa will be the second largest economy within the next few years.
Currently, Africa stands at a pretty good crossroad with a growing young population, with money to spend, and a growing and diverse economy.
According to MarketWatch, about 20% of the population—out of a total of 200 million—is between the ages of 15-24, and this number is only expected to rise in the upcoming years. There seems to be an interest and eagerness to learn among the people in Ghana due to their entrepreneurial spirit and drive. Lucy James, the associate consultant with Control Risks’ Africa team, told CNBC that people in Ghana share the sense that you can disrupt something and make a difference.
With this new research center, Africans, especially in Ghana, will be able to be a part of something that they are passionate and interested about. In a blog post by Google, the company mentioned how they have noticed an increasing interest in machine learning research across the continent. They will be collaborating with different universities and research centers to bring the best of AI to Africa.
With Google’s excitement and Ghana’s eagerness to learn, this AI research center could potentially turn out to be something big.
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