Google has launched a product development centre in Nairobi. The project, which is a first in the continent will see the tech giant build transformative products and services for the African market and the world. This follows Google’s October 2021 plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years in Africa.
The centre will be the Tech Giant’s second, after it set up an AI and research centre in Ghana in 2019.
Google is looking to hire over 100 tech talents comprising software engineers, researchers and designers to help solve difficult and technical challenges. This is aimed at enhancing the resolution of challenging and technological issues such as improving the smartphone experience for Africans or constructing a more reliable internet infrastructure.
Google has joined the list of growing tech giants setting up innovation hubs in the country, after Microsoft launched a research and development centre in Nairobi. Visa also announced that it had established its first innovation centre to co-create payment and commerce solutions with partners.
“Africa has been at the forefront of innovation, and we believe that we are going to continue to develop and innovate right here from the continent,” Google’s policy lead for Sub-Saharan Africa Charles Murito said.
Google stated that it intends to continue to develop partnerships, products, and services in order to connect more people to the internet and to promote small and medium-sized enterprises and non-profit organizations.
“We have 300 million people on the internet in the region [Africa] today. We also know that in the course of the rest of this decade, we’re going to have another half a billion people who will experience internet for the very first time, which is why it is incredibly important that we build products and experiences that are helpful to these people that are going to be experiencing the internet just in Africa,” said Google in Africa managing director, Nitin Gajria.
Amazon subsidiary, on-demand cloud computing platform Amazon Web Services (AWS), recently announced plans to open an AWS local zone in Kenya. The new AWS Local Zone in Kenya will join the other 16 existing AWS Local Zones in the United States, as well as another 32 AWS Local Zones set to open in 26 countries across the world beginning in 2022.