Google opens product development center in Nairobi, its first in Africa

Google today announced the launch of a product development center in Nairobi, its first on the continent, to create “transformative” products and services for the African market and the world. It comes after the tech giant revealed plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years in October last year. The center is Google’s second major research and development investment in Africa, after the tech giant established an AI and research center in Ghana in 2019.

Google said it will hire more than 100 tech talents, including software engineers, researchers and designers, over the next two years to help solve tough, technical challenges, such as improving the user experience. smartphones for Africans or building more reliable internet infrastructure, Google said. Vice President of Products, Suzanne Frey.

Google joins the growing list of tech giants creating innovation hubs in Nairobi. Two weeks ago, and shortly after Microsoft launched a research and development center in Nairobi, Visa announced that it had set up its first innovation center to co-create payment and commerce solutions with partners.

“Africa has been at the forefront of innovation, and we believe we’ll continue to grow and innovate here from the continent,” Google’s policy manager for sub-Saharan Africa, Charles Murito, said during an interview. of the briefing.

Google said it plans to continue building partnerships, products and services to connect more people to the internet, support small and medium businesses and nonprofits.

“We have 300 million people on the internet in the region [Africa] today. We also know that over the rest of this decade we will still have half a billion people experiencing the internet for the very first time, which is why it is extremely important that we develop products and experiences that are useful to those people who will discover the Internet only in Africa,” said Google’s general manager in Africa, Nitin Gajria.

Gary C. Lisi