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Google opens first Africa development centre in Kenya

Google, the world’s largest search engine, has again shunned Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, to set up its first product development centre in Kenya.

• April 20, 2022
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Google, the world’s largest search engine, has again shunned Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, to set up its first product development centre in Kenya, the company’s first on the African continent.

Announcing the development at a virtual media round table on Tuesday, Google VP for product Suzanne Frey disclosed that the tech giant would hire over 100 young tech talents, including software engineers, researchers, and designers, to build more reliable internet infrastructure and improve smartphone experience for Africans.

The development came seven months after Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed intentions to invest $1 billion over the next five years to help Africa’s digital transformation.

This is not the first time the tech giants have snubbed Nigeria to invest in smaller economies.

In 2019, the tech giants established an AI and research centre in Ghana.

In March, the organisation announced that Togo would host its first undersea internet cable, shunning Nigeria.

Equiano was slated to land in Nigeria, with initial map plans pointing to its first landing in Nigeria.

The centre is Google’s second-largest R&D investment in Africa after an AI and research centre established in 2019 in Ghana.

Google is the latest company to open an innovation hub in Nairobi, joining a growing number of tech behemoths.

Earlier in April, Visa announced the opening of its first innovation centre to co-create payment and commerce solutions with partners, not too long after Microsoft opened a research and development centre in Nairobi.

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