Google is Moving in East Africa

7 Month old Google Kenya is starting to interact with the local hackers and devs. Just this Tuesday they sponsored the local Tuesday Skunkworks event, giving some of their thoughts on Kenya specifically. My friend, and fellow Kenyan blogger, Bankelele was in attendance and took notes.


Google Kenya

Highlights. Google is…

  • Mapping Kenya
  • Partnering with the largest mobile carrier (Safaricom) and giving free email accounts to all subscribers
  • Partnering with universities to make inroads with their web-based office applications and associated services
  • Encouraging local content providers to get online (ex: NTVKenya on YouTube)
  • Fighting for more bandwidth for all Kenyans
  • Working with legislatures to create the right atmosphere to get the right internet infrastructure

Read the rest, and get more detail, on Bankelele’s blog.

It’s interesting to see how Google continues to look at new markets and move ahead in them, without any real profit there yet. Meanwhile, their main competition on the global level on the web (Yahoo!), doesn’t. Interestingly enough, Yahoo has had the mindshare and marketshare in East Africa, but didn’t capitalize on it. They basically left the door open for Google to come in and steal it all away… and they are.

[img courtesy of Begins at Home]

18 thoughts on “Google is Moving in East Africa

  1. Google simply put are on a level of their own in terms of reaching out to the consumer. It shows in everything they do. I am actually surprised to hear that Yahoo had anything over Google, to me even in search engines it’s always been a no contest – the only place where Google falters slightly is with their imaging service which pales in comparison to the far superior flickr.

  2. The most important……..

    “Fighting for more bandwidth for all Kenyans”

    I’ve been meaning to go to kenya for the last few months but haven’t because of bandwidth, I need to work!

  3. I got the same thing from my friend. The way i see it is that Google should really come to kenya especially. With the ongoing longing for the fibre optic tec, i think guys are going to get real exposure on making internet their real business. Kenya has the potential and thanks for Google for giving it a shot. I know google gets quite a mediocre % on all africa’s money on its business but they can do this just to alienate people. Outsourcing will be easier too. Its actually great job creation.

  4. I got the same thing from my friend. The way i see it is that Google should really come to kenya especially. With the ongoing longing for the fibre optic tec, i think guys are going to get real exposure on making internet their real business. Kenya has the potential and thanks for Google for giving it a shot. I know google gets quite a mediocre % on all africa’s money on its business but they can do this just to alienate people. Outsourcing will be easier too. Its actually great job creation. I long for the time i will shop online just like with Ebay. You know? without fear, i do look forward for that.

  5. Yahoo! definitely dominates the email market in Kenya, I think. Every single person I spoke with that gave me a contact address had a Yahoo domain, when I visited Kenya in the last half of March. Shops in the slums that bothered to list an email address listed a Yahoo address without fail. I think Google Mail is immeasurably better, but the Safaricom partnership can greatly benefit Google itself, for sure.

  6. All I know is that Google is well known by east african guys. But they do not know what is capable of except giving people info they need. (searching). On the other hand, people know yahoo for mailing. Infact most of them when they go to an internet cafe, they open yahoo and check their mails and leave. If searching for something, one may have to guide them. It is just time google gave east african people a chance. Alienate them about the importance of internet and above all fight for them when it comes to band width. Surprisingly, Africa will not make 1% of what google earns any more there will be increase. Believe me.

  7. Hello
    I read abut your company in the sunday Nation and i was so impressed of how you guys work
    Am a kenyan and an accountant by proffesion
    Am a CPA (K) and a BCOM(Finance option) holder with three years working experience . Am interested in joining you and be in a team in a one the finest company in sub sahara Africa
    Kind Regards
    Ken

  8. Vincent Odhiambo Ogoha says:

    I strongly believe with the stewrdship of one Joe Mucheru at google east africa, it will take the shortest time possible to catapult google to the top. Mr. Joe Mucheru is an experienced hand in this area of information Technology and especially emerging Information Technology, Having worked under him at Wananchi Online, i know things are not only looking up but are sooner rather than later going to be bigger and even better, because he is the kind of person who can actually burn the midnight oil to succeed. All the best though

  9. eliud k maina says:

    I read your feature in the Sunday Nation and to say the least i was really impressed.Ask anybody today n they will tell you that they would enjoy to work in such enviroment.I am a driver with over ten years experience and also given a chance i would enjoy working with you

  10. 1.)Where is your office in Nairobi?

    2.)Someone invited me to sell websites for google on the internet, how do I do that?

    3)My son is very interested in the net as he got a vocational job at Kencall EPZ which is now over, can you have a look at him? He is 20.

    4) I am very interested in internet marketing, how do I start?
    5) What about marketing survey companies in the net? Are they real?

  11. THOMAS KAVIVYA says:

    Am Thomas a Geomatic Engineer i highly appriciate the kind of work you are doing in trying to move africa towards the other world by making it digital and accessible through spatial and non spatial information..
    Your working environment proves admirable.
    If i can get an oppotunity i would appreciate working with your organization.

  12. njiru says:

    need to get contacts to kavivya thomas.please email it to me especially the email address to him

  13. Patrick Maina says:

    Google is definitely takin centre stage in africa,and i believe it will raise up to the platform of opportunity in kenya’s market especially in corporate partneship with mobile telephony companies such safaricom..it would be lovely to be a part of the google family,am a final year student in IT and i see a very green ground to learn more on my field of study and also gain more know how on world issues.

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