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>> Mark Zuckerberg philanthropy venture making its first big investment in Africa. The Chan Zuckerberg initiative started by the Facebook founder and his wife, announcing Thursday that it led the latest round of investments into Andela. A startup that recruits and trains software engineers on the continent for companies around the world.
Google Ventures, or GV, also invested in this round which raised a total of $24 million. Africa is one of the few regions still underserved by the Internet, but growth has been exponential thanks to the rise of mobile phones. And some forecast Africa's Internet penetration to reach 50% by 2025, when there will be 360 million smartphones on the continent, so it's not surprising tech giants have their eye on a new prize.
Facebook has been working to provide free access to some mobile websites. And Google's in partnership with the Kenyan mobile phone company rolling out a free zone, where email and the Internet are available with no data charges, as long as users are on Google apps. There's been some criticism against those efforts.
The concern? The global behemoth's involvement could stunt local innovation and limit opportunities for African entrepreneurs. Through Facebook, Zuckerberg said quote, we live in a world where talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. Andela's mission is to close that gap. Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, launched the initiative late last year and Zuckerberg said, he would put in 99% of his Facebook shares.