Google has opened its first product development center on the African continent in Nairobi, Kenya. The facility’s goal is to create game-changing products and services for the African market and the rest of the world.
This follows the IT giant’s announcement last year that it will invest $1 billion over the following five years. After opening an AI and research center in Nigeria’s West African neighbor, Ghana, in 2019, the center is Google’s second significant research and development investment in Africa.
Over the next two years, the company expects to hire over 100 tech experts, including software engineers, researchers, and designers. According to Ms. Suzanne Frey, Google’s Vice President of Products, this will aid in the resolution of complex and technological difficulties such as improving the smartphone experience for Africans or constructing a more stable internet infrastructure for the continent.
UPDATE FROM GOOGLE
Google is the latest company to open an innovation hub in Nairobi, joining a growing number of tech behemoths. Visa announced the opening of its first innovation center to co-create payment and commerce solutions with partners two weeks ago, just after Microsoft opened a research and development center in Nairobi.
During the briefing, Google’s policy head for Sub-Saharan Africa, Charles Murito, said, “Africa has been at the forefront of invention. We believe that we will continue to develop and innovate right here on the continent.”
Google stated that it intends to continue developing partnerships, products, and services to connect more people to the internet and promote small and medium-sized enterprises and non-profit organizations.
We now have 300 million internet users [Africa]. We know that another half a billion people will be exposed to the internet in the next decade. As a result, we must develop products and experiences that will benefit folks in Africa. Nitin Gajria, Google’s managing director for Africa, stated.