NAIROBI – California-based Google is willing to get a bigger share of Africa’s increasing online population, which is planned to reach 800 million by 2023.
An announcement by internet search giant is setup its first product development center on the region. It will based in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. Based on the schedule, the product will be released next year and will employ over 100 people. A new starting point begins.
A head of government affairs and public policy for sub-Saharan Africa at Google, Charles Murito, said that the investment will provide a number of chances amid the Africa’s tech sector. That will influence another sectors.
Murito added, the product development center is planned to be one that works to create transformative products and services for people right in the country and around the world. So, the announcement last week was just a kind of kick-off in forms of hiring process for people who are going to work for Africa in this product development center. This will include positions such as UX designers, product managers, researchers and engineers. This is seriously a starting point of the work that Murito team will be doing.
The multinational technology company stated its mission is to provide the universally accessible world’s information and create a product that works out well for citizens in Africa.
In this regards, Bitange Ndemo, the former principal secretary of Kenya’s information, technology ministry and communication said that the government is required to train more of its young citizens to get benefits from Google Center, like the other countries’ youth do.
Ndemo said, it would be a wonderful investment to help decrease the unemployment problems in the country, but Kenya’s government should start to invest in powering young people with skill and reskill to meet the local and even global demand. In response to this policy, more than 80,000 certified developers from Africa has been trained by Google in these recent years.
$1 billion is even invested by the firm in the projects over the next five years to lead Africa Internet economy to develop and grow well. This way, Murito said the investment will change Africa, especially in its economy and tech sectors.
Murito added, creating products that will work best for Africans at large is a good opportunity especially if the products are about financial inclusion or other economy sectors. Having the product development center in Africa will challenge the country to produce the products that are both serving the challenges.
Besides Google, Microsoft also invested in Kenya by hiring hundreds of engineers from East Africa nation.
Africa is a continent that has its own challenges for business development and growth due to fact that some countries have lack of good governance and the rule of law make an unclear environment for investment. However, some nations turned off the internet to silence their people.
In the end, Murito expressed his organization works with African governments to support innovations and develop policies that will withstand the innovation.