Google Launches First Product Development Centre in Nairobi, Plans Cheaper Internet for Africans

Google Launches First Product Development Centre in Nairobi, Plans Cheaper Internet for Africans

  • Just like Visa, Google has decided to take the office for its first product development centre in Africa to Kenya
  • Nairobi the capital city of Kenya just like Nigeria is considered as a growing tech and innovation city
  • Google also is looking at bringing cheaper internet to Africans with the installation of subsea Cables across Africa

Google has opened the first product development centre on the African continent in Nairobi, Kenya. The facility's goal is to create transformational goods and services for the African market and the rest of the globe.

This comes after the IT giant announced intentions to invest $1 billion over the next five years in October of last year.

The center is Google's second big R&D investment in Africa, following the establishment of an AI and research center in Nigeria's West African neighbor, Ghana, in 2019.

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Google, Nairobi plans cheaper internet for Africans
Google is building something for Africans Credit: Google
Source: Getty Images

The big vision

The Centre is part of the company's aim to employ over 100 tech professionals over the next two years, including software engineers, researchers, and designers.

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According to Google VP for Products, Ms Suzanne Frey, this will aid in the resolution of challenging and technical difficulties such as enhancing the smartphone experience for Africans or constructing a more stable internet infrastructure for the continent.

Big tech companies in love with Kenya

Two weeks ago, Visa announced that it had set up its first innovation centre to co-create payment and commerce solutions with partners.

Microsoft also launched a research and development centre in the Kenyan capital.

Commenting on his new development centre, Google's policy lead for Sub-Saharan Africa, Mr Charles Murito sad:

“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"

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Plans for cheaper internet

Africa, despite having a market of 1.2 billion people, remains at the bottom of the global digital economy value chain due to the high cost of mobile and fixed internet as expensive smartphones lockout over half of the population from web services.

Google said the investment will focus to bridge this gap by offering faster internet to more people at lower connectivity costs.

A new subsea cable Equiano is planned to run through South Africa, Namibia, Nigeria and St Helena and connect the continent with Europe, TechCabal reports.

This will add to the already existing 40,000-kilometre 4G and 5G subsea cable by the 2Africa consortium, that connects 19 African countries to Europe and the Middle East.

Meta joins global companies piling pressure on Russia, bans state media from running ads on its platforms

Meanwhile, reported that Facebook, owned by Meta has become one of the latest global companies to pile economic pressure on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

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The parent company of both Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger said it will stop Russia-owned state media from monetising content on its platforms as a way to pressure Kremlin to pull back from Ukraine.

The company announced the ban via a tweet by its Head of Security Nathaniel Gleicher.


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