Google recently announced that it will soon launch its first African product development centre in Nairobi, Kenya. The tech giant said it’ll also be hiring hundreds of talents across engineering, product and design. This is to continue its commitment to creating “transformative products and services for people in Africa and around the world”.
This announcement is coming about 7 months after the company pledged to invest $1billion in Africa over the next 5 years at its Google for Africa event last October. At the October event, the company’s CEO Sundar Pichai said they are investing in “projects that will provide fast, reliable, affordable internet across the continent; build helpful, local products; and support the entrepreneurs and small businesses that underpin Africa’s economies”.
It has since opened a Google AI research center in Accra, Ghana to help drive useful innovations. Last month, it also announced that Equiano, its subsea internet cable, will arrive at Togo, then South Africa, Namibia, Nigeria and St Helena would follow.
Google predicts that Africa will have 800 million internet users and one-third of the world’s under-35 population by 2030, and it wants to be at the forefront of this movement by working with “talented, creative, and collaborative people who can help solve difficult and important technical challenges, such as improving the smartphone experience for people in Africa”.
Google has now joined a growing list of big tech companies like Microsoft and Visa that have launched research and development, and innovation hubs in Nairobi, Kenya, respectively.