Google plans to invest $1 billion in Africa over the next five years to ensure access to fast and cheaper internet and will back startups to support the continent’s digital transformation, it said on Wednesday. From a report: The unit of U.S. tech company Alphabet made the announcement at a virtual event where it launched an Africa Investment Fund, through which it will invest $50 million in startups, providing them with access to its employees, network and technologies. Nitin Gajria, managing director for Google in Africa told Reuters in a virtual interview that the company would among others, target startups focusing on fintech, e-commerce and local language content. “We are looking at areas that may have some strategic overlap with Google and where Google could potentially add value in partnering with some of these startups,” Gajria said. In collaboration with not-for-profit organisation Kiva, Google will also provide $10 million in low interest loans to help small businesses and entrepreneurs in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa so they can get through the economic hardship created by COVID-19.