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Google to open its first African product development center in Kenya


Tech giant Google has announced plans to open its first African product development centre in Nairobi, Kenya.  

This comes months after the company revealed it will be investing $1billion over the next five years in projects that will provide fast, reliable, affordable internet across the continent.  The investment, Google added will also support the building of helpful, local products and support the entrepreneurs and small businesses that underpin Africa’s economies. 

Google has announced some openings for the new African product development centre. It is hiring over 100 aspiring Engineering Managers, Product Managers, Software Engineers,  Developer Relations Engineers,  Senior UX Designers or UX Researchers to help  to create ‘’transformative products and services for people in Africa and around the world’’

‘’To help realize Google’s mission, we will be hiring visionary engineers, product managers, UX designers and researchers to lay the foundation for significant growth in the coming years.’’ the company says in a blog post.

Google says it is looking for talented, creative, and collaborative people who can help solve difficult and important technical challenges, such as improving the smartphone experience for people in Africa, or building products that will help everyone to thrive together.

Google joins a number of other tech giants setting up innovations hub in Nairobi. In 2019 Microsoft launched its 7th global US $100 million Development Centre in Africa in Nairobi. Two weeks ago, Digital payments leader Visa also opened its first African Innovation Studio in Kenya. The new centre has been designed to support Visa partners in the region with access to develop solutions that strengthen their capabilities to develop fintech products. 

Google says supporting Africa’s digital transformation will take teamwork – by 2030, Africa will have 800 million internet users and one-third of the world’s under-35 population. 

‘’Supporting Africa’s digital transformation will take teamwork – by 2030, Africa will have 800 million internet users and one-third of the world’s under-35 population. ‘’ Suzanne Frey, vice president for products, and Nitin Gajria, the head of Google Africa, said in the blog post.

The centre is also Google’s second major research and development investment in Africa after the company set up an AI and research centre in Ghana back in 2019.

You can check out the available Google product development centre opportunities here.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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