Global tech giant Google has announced plans that will see it investing in a product development hub in Kenya as part of its Sh115.5 billion ($1-billion) investment in Africa over the next five years. It is expected that the centre will help to create transformative products, offer services for people in Africa, and will offer job opportunities “to visionary engineers, product managers, UX designers, and researchers to lay the foundation for significant growth in the coming years”, according to Business Daily.

Google also pointed out that the development will increase access to cheap and fast internet, support local entrepreneurs and SMEs and help non-profit organisations.

“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,” Google vice president for products Suzanne Frey said.

“Today I am excited to welcome all Africans passionate about improving the digital experience of African users by building better products to apply for the open roles at our first product development centre in Africa,” she added.

Google recently opened an artificial intelligence centre in Ghana which Frey says is already hiring engineers, product managers, user experience designers and researchers to staff the new centre, according to media reports.

“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,” Google managing director for Africa Nitin Gajria said.

The Google investment comes after Microsoft unveiled an Sh3 billion ($5.2 million) office and labs for its premier engineering hub, the African Development Centre (ADC), after three years of operation in Kenya.

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