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Google announced on April 19 that it has chosen Nairobi to set up its first product development center on the continent. Already last October, the information giant announced a $1 billion investment plan to finance digital projects in Africa over the next five years. Google also already has a center dedicated to artificial intelligence in Accra, Ghana since 2019. With Nairobi, the American company is anchoring its presence on the continent. Something to delight the new technologies sector in Kenya.
From our correspondent in Nairobi,
Since the beginning of the year, investments have multiplied in Kenya. Microsoft has just inaugurated a research and development center there. And Visa has opened an innovation studio there. With Google, Nairobi is therefore increasingly positioning itself as a technological hub in the region.
Einstein Wanambiro has worked in the industry for several years. For him, the choice of the Kenyan capital is easily explained. “ First of all, there is an excellent internet connection. Then, Kenya receives a lot of investment, especially to finance companies in the field of tech. We also have dedicated hubs for the sector for several years now where people can collaborate and work together, it’s something we already know, so it makes the installation easier. »
800 million African internet users by 2030
Its investment also gives Google a foothold in a continent where internet use is on the rise. According to his predictions, Africa will have 800 million Internet users by 2030 and will be home to a third of the world’s population under 35 years old. An attractive market for this information giant and an investment that delights young people in the sector. 31-year-old Somet Kipchilat is a developer by training.
When I got out of college, it was nearly impossible to get a job in tech that offered both growth opportunities and a good living. So for young developers, it’s really gratifying to see these big companies say to themselves “we have confidence in the talents on the continent, are we going to settle there”. It proves to the rest of the world that Africa is great, that there is enough talent and above all space to do business. I find that really great.
Some start-ups in Nairobi, however, complain that their talents are being poached. In a cafe in the Kenyan capital, Tim Chege explains that he is aware of this situation. He just left a small company to join another American giant.
Admittedly, some have lost some of their employees to newcomers. But in the long term, these firms will be winners because the quality of the workforce will improve. Those who have left will be able, in a few years, to return to work in smaller companies, in managerial positions for example. This will encourage a form of skills transfer.
Google has already started the recruitment process for its new center.
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Africa economy – Kenya, land of plenty for Google in Africa
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