Good news for African marketers as Google invests in local R&D

By our News Team | 2022

Establishment of a new product-development centre in Kenya recognises immense potential of the continent’s growing mobile-first youth segment.

In what will be good news for Africa’s digital marketers, e-commerce and supply chain practitioners, Google has announced that it is establishing a product-development centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

The aim of this new venture on the continent is to create what the tech giant calls “transformative” products and services for the African market and the world. Google’s Nairobi investment complements the artificial intelligence (AI) and research hub it established in Ghana in 2019. 

Speaking at the virtual launch event earlier this week, Nitin Gajria, Managing Director for Google in Africa. said: “There are 300-million internet users in Africa who are young, mobile-first and have similar patterns to mobile youth globally. By 2030, Africa will have 800-million internet users and a third of the world’s under-35 population.

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Photo by Alex Dudar on Unsplash

“The potential for Africa to become a leading digital economy is right on the horizon and Google is committed to accelerating Africa’s digital transformation through human capital and enabling African-led solutions to African and global problems through better products.”

Mission to make the internet helpful to Africans

Added Suzanne Frey, the company’s Vice President for Products: “Google’s mission in Africa is to make the Internet helpful to Africans and partner with African governments, policymakers, educators, entrepreneurs and businesses to shape the next wave of innovation in Africa.”

Last year, Google executive Sundar Pichai, announced a plan to invest US$1-billion over five years to support Africa’s digital transformation.

According to the Kenyan-based news outlet Nation, Google joins a growing list of tech giants setting up innovation hubs in Nairobi.

“Two weeks ago, shortly after Microsoft launched a research and development centre in Nairobi, Visa announced it had set up its first innovation hub to co-create payment and commerce solutions with partners,” Nation reported.

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.