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After $1 billion investment, Google pledges to build a more 'vibrant and dynamic' digital ecosystem in Africa – CNN

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(CNN)Africa has the lowest rate of internet connectivity of any region in the world. But that also means it has the highest potential for new growth.

During the pandemic in 2020, nearly 20 million more Africans subscribed to a mobile service than in the previous year, according to industry trade group Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA), with 4G connections set to double over the next four years.
Tech giants such as Google — which expects hundreds of millions more people to come online across the continent for the first time in the next few years — are moving quickly in the race for Africa’s digital inclusion.
Last year, Google’s joint report with the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation forecasted Africa’s “e-conomy” value would reach $180 billion by 2025.
This has arguably fueled the company’s commitment of a $1 billion investment in Africa, announced last month — focusing on grants for businesses, supporting entrepreneurship and a significant infrastructure plan to broaden internet access across the continent.
After the announcement, CNN’s Larry Madowo spoke to Nitin Gajria, Google’s managing director for sub-Saharan Africa, about the company’s plan to improve internet connectivity in Africa and support the continent’s digital transformation.
The following interview was edited and condensed for clarity.
Larry Madowo: Google has made a big deal of investing in the digital landscape in Africa. What regions or specific sectors are you most excited about investing in?
Nitin Gajria: We were thrilled to have announced our $1 billion commitment over the next five years on the continent. These are really mainly in three areas: first, our initiatives related to connectivity, and how do we bring the power of the internet into more hands. The second part of it is how do we help entrepreneurs and small businesses succeed with the internet. And the third part of this commitment is a renewal of our non-profit partnerships on the continent.
We’ve just announced a $50 million Africa investment fund aimed at the growth state startups. That’s one of the things I’m really excited about, our initiatives related to the startup ecosystem on the continent.
LM: How is Google approaching some of the infrastructure challenges that are famous on the continent and the opportunities to build from the ground up?
NG: A few years ago, we would’ve been sitting here talking about how network coverage is a massive challenge. And I think that some of those challenges are being solved. The thing that I think about is the number of internet users that we’re going to have on the continent in the next three to five years. And how do we have the capacity to serve those users in an effective fashion with the right kind of speeds, with the right kind of bandwidth and so on.
And one of the things is “Equiano,” a subsea cable that we are building along the west coast of Africa which links Europe to Africa. We’ve already announced landing points in Nigeria, in Namibia and in South Africa. This type of capacity that Equiano is going to bring in will have a profound effect on internet speeds, on data costs and just the overall internet experience in the places that impacts.
LM: Can you talk about the role of smartphones in making sure that this is a mobile-first continent and how Google approaches that?
NG: When you look at the profile of new internet users, they tend to use the internet for very different purposes than the first billion people that got onto the internet. As an example, one really profound and interesting shift is somebody that’s never used a keyboard on a laptop or a computer ever before, and for them to encounter a QWERTY keyboard that you normally have in your phone is a really strange experience; which then sort of raises really interesting questions about how do we create an internet that one can interact with through voice or products that can work in local languages. These are the kinds of challenges that I think we need to be very aware of as the next billion people get online.
LM: We like to say in Africa that we’re not a monolith. Talk about what talent you see coming out of the continent versus the rest of the world.
NG: We know that there are going to be more young people in Africa for the foreseeable future than anywhere else in the world. And that just means that you have a base of talent that can go on to build amazing things in Africa. We also see a small but growing and thriving developer population. I do believe that developers are an essential ingredient in any vibrant internet ecosystem. We do see an opportunity and some headroom in terms of growth for developer talent.
LM: As the guy running Google in sub-Saharan Africa, what keeps you up at night?
NG: One is connectivity. Some of the most profound challenges yet the most exciting opportunities on the continent is we have 1.1 billion people in sub-Saharan Africa, (but) only about 300 million people are using the internet in any way, shape or form. So, there’s about 800 million people that have never experienced the power of the internet — how do we bridge that gap? We expect 300 million people to come online over the next five years and after that we expect a lot more.
I’m really excited about the work that various players in the ecosystem are doing. And that’s just talking about the subsea cables that are being built to serve Africa. But there’s also a ton of work being done inland from an infrastructure perspective, whether it’s by the Telco’s or other infrastructure providers and all of this collectively will hopefully go on to solve some of the connectivity challenges that we have on the continent.

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Major Value-Added Agriculture Investment Announced in Saskatchewan | News and Media – Government of Saskatchewan

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Released on January 17, 2022

FCL To Build Canola Processing Plant And Canada’s Largest Renewable Diesel Facility In Regina

Today, Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) announced its plans to develop an Integrated Agriculture Complex (IAC) north of the Co-op Refinery Complex in Regina.  The IAC will include a renewable diesel facility, as well as a new canola crushing plant in partnership with AGT Foods.

The FCL renewable diesel production plant alone represents a nearly $2 billion investment for the province and is expected to create more than 2,500 construction jobs and 150 permanent operating jobs.  The entire IAC is estimated to have direct and indirect economic benefits of approximately $4.5 billion.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for Saskatchewan and for FCL and AGT Foods that will bolster the sustainability and economic goals of these companies and the province,” Premier Scott Moe said.  “Our province has the food, fertilizer, and fuel the world needs, including renewable energy from canola grown and processed here, which speaks to the heart of our plan for economic recovery and growth as we work to build an independent, strong and sustainable Saskatchewan.”

The FCL-AGT canola crushing facility will ensure Saskatchewan exceeds its 2030 Growth Plan goal of processing 75 per cent of the canola grown in the province.  It also supports the Growth Plan goal of increasing agriculture value-added revenue to $10 billion.

The FCL renewable diesel plant will have a production capacity of 15,000 barrels per day, or about 1 billion litres per year. The FCL-AGT canola crush facility will use 1.1 million tonnes of canola seed to produce 450,000 tonnes of oil, supplying approximately 50 per cent of the feedstock required for the renewable diesel plant, with the remainder of the supply being contracted from other canola crush facilities.

“We know the synergies between transportation fuel production and agriculture will play a vital role in Western Canada’s transition to the low carbon economy,” FCL CEO Scott Banda said.  “We believe our Co-op Retailing System is well-positioned to integrate and capture the full agricultural value-chain in the production of fuel and value-added products.  We are excited about our partnership with AGT and ultimately what this announcement means for value-added agriculture in our province.”

With facilities and outlets in 249 communities in Saskatchewan, FCL and local co-ops employ more than 10,000 workers across the province.

-30-

For more information, contact:

Robin Speer
Trade and Export Development
Regina
Phone: 306-519-5006
Email: robin.speer@gov.sk.ca

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Cross-border investment surged in November – Investment Executive

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The cross-border activity was concentrated on debt securities, with foreign investors adding $31.4 billion worth in the month, up from $20.4 billion the previous month.

StatsCan reported that investors targeted federal debt — adding $8.6 billion in bonds and $6.5 billion worth of money market securities — along with $9.8 billion in corporate debt.

Conversely, foreign investors trimmed $1.3 billion worth of Canadian equities in the month.

“The reduction reflected retirements of Canadian portfolio shares resulting from cross-border merger and acquisition activities. Foreign purchases of Canadian shares on the secondary market, led by shares of chartered banks, moderated the overall reduction,” StatsCan said.

At the same time, Canadian investors ramped up their buying of foreign securities in November.

In total, domestic investors added $17.5 billion in foreign securities, StatsCan reported. This was up from $5.4 billion in October.

Canadian investors jumped into U.S. stocks in November, buying $7.4 billion worth of equities, up from just $652 million in October. Large-cap tech stocks and index funds were the primary targets, StatsCan said.

Additionally, investors bought $4.0 billion worth of non-U.S. foreign shares in November, reversing a $2.5-billion divestment in October.

Canadian investors also added $6.1 billion in foreign debt, including $2.8 billion in U.S. corporate bonds and $1.6 billion in U.S. government bonds.

In a research note, National Bank Financial Inc. (NBF) said November’s $17.5-billion net investment means Canadian investors acquired $144.4 billion worth of foreign securities during the first 11 months of 2021.

“In dollar terms, you won’t find a prior [year-to-date] tally remotely close,” NBF said, noting that the previous record was $73.3 billion about 15 years ago.

Even with the record flow into foreign securities, net portfolio flows are still positive for Canada, as foreign buying of Canadian securities has been even stronger.

“An improved current account means Canada is less reliant on foreign inflows,” NBF said. “Still, the apparent abandonment of Canada by domestic investors is part of an overall capital bleed that needs redressing.”

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4 Must-Have TFSA Stocks for Any Investment Goal – Yahoo Canada Finance

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Make a choice, path to success, sign

Written by Amy Legate-Wolfe at The Motley Fool Canada

If you have a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), then you hopefully have an investment goal to go along with it. Now, we could drill down into specific savings goals, but, honestly, those goals change! What someone wants at 30 will be different at 50, and so on. First, it’s student debt, then a house, then a child, their education, and, of course, retirement.

Frankly, you shouldn’t have to juggle your investments every time you come up with a new goal. In fact, one of the main points of investing is to buy and hold for as long as you can. Sure, you can take out cash as your goals come in, but you should be able to hold onto them for as long as you want.

With that in mind, here are four TFSA stocks that will help you achieve any investment goal.

Fortis

If you’re going to have long-term TFSA stocks, you need stable companies to get you there. That would definitely include Fortis (TSX:FTS)(NYSE:FTS). The utility company has been growing its dividend each year for almost 50 years. This comes from a stable business plan of growth through acquisition.

Investors have been flocking to Fortis as one of the TFSA stocks they want because of this stability — especially during the market pullback. The company is basically recession proof, providing gas and electric utilities to 3.4 million customers. You need the lights on no matter what, making it a strong choice for any investor.

Fortis shares are up 16% in the last year with a dividend yield of 3.63%.

TD Bank

The Big Six banks may be trading at all-time highs, but there’s a reason. And that reason is why they’re TFSA stocks for any investment goal. The banks managed to get out of the market drop relatively unscathed, and yet they still have so much cash on hand to make up for lost time. And that comes through solid dividend jumps.

But Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD)(NYSE:TD) has even more to offer. TD stock offers the most growth of the Big Six banks, with the most amount of credit card partnerships, growing online and United States presence, and the most loan options for solid revenue streams. And yet even after all this growth, TD stock still trades at just 13.42 times earnings.

TD stock is up 41% in the last year, with a dividend yield of 3.47%.

Constellation Software

If you have the cash to invest, Constellation Software (TSX:CSU) is one of the few tech stocks that remains a stable investment. The company has been an acquisition powerhouse, identifying the software companies it believes will thrive with incredible expertise.

It’s those experts that have managed to keep the company growing at a stable clip, even as other tech stocks burn around it. Constellation shares have been steady as a rail, growing through venture funds and seeing revenue rise 30% year over year during the last quarter. It’s one of the TFSA stocks any investor should add as soon as possible before it rises even more.

Shares of Constellation are up 34% in the last year, and it recently boosted its dividend to offer a yield of 0.24%.

Nutrien

Finally, Nutrien (TSX:NTR)(NYSE:NTR) may be on the newer side, but don’t count this out among TFSA stocks. People need to eat, and Nutrien is now the world’s largest crop nutrient provider. As arable land decreases and climate change increases, Nutrien will be a necessity for any portfolio.

Nutrien continues to grow through acquisition. In the last few years, it has increased its digital presence at an incredible rate. This kept revenue coming in at an incredibly important time — for the company and farmers. Now, it’s nearing the three-digit mark and isn’t likely to come down.

Shares of Nutrien are up 37% in the last year, with a yield of 2.57% for investors.

The post 4 Must-Have TFSA Stocks for Any Investment Goal appeared first on The Motley Fool Canada.

Should you invest $1,000 in Air Canada right now?

Before you consider Air Canada, you may want to hear this.

Motley Fool Canadian Chief Investment Advisor, Iain Butler, and his Stock Advisor Canada team just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Air Canada wasn’t one of them.

The online investing service they’ve run since 2013, Motley Fool Stock Advisor Canada, has beaten the stock market by over 3X. And right now, they think there are 10 stocks that are better buys.

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Fool contributor Amy Legate-Wolfe owns TORONTO-DOMINION BANK. The Motley Fool recommends Constellation Software, FORTIS INC, and Nutrien Ltd.

2022

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