Nairobi to host Google’s first Product Development Centre in Africa

Nairobi has become an exciting tech centre in Africa. In the past year we’ve seen Microsoft pump money to its African Development Centre, VISA do the same with its Innovation Centre and now Google has announced plans to launch what they’re calling the PDC – Product Development Centre.

Google is currently hiring for different positions including:

  • Engineering Manager
  • Product Manager
  • Software Engineer
  • Senior UX Designer
  • UX Researcher

The company says it is looking for talented, creative, and collaborative people who can help solve difficult and important technical challenges. These will include improving the smartphone experience for Africans and building products that will help everyone to thrive together.

It will be interesting to see what new changes the PDC brings to the African continent. For long, we’ve relied on products built from outside which don’t properly understanding the real issues.

I expect solutions to simple things that are still a huge challenge while using Google products including:

  • Proper mapping of the country and continent in general
  • Building products that better fit in with our ways of life from simple apps for consumers to solutions for businesses
  • Artificial intelligence being trained to better understanding things like context, accent, and more
  • And much more.

The company says that alongside great technical knowledge and a passion for solving hard problems together with others, people applying for the different roles will need to understand how people across the continent use their phones every day and the challenges they face.

Google CEO has said, “Excited to open our first product development center in Africa later this year. We’re hiring engineers, product managers, UX designers and researchers in Nairobi who want to build helpful products and services for people in Africa and around the world.”

Last year, Google CEO committed a $10 Million fund to support economic recovery in Kenya. In October, the CEO announced plans to invest $1 Billion over the next five years in projects that will provide fast, reliable, affordable internet across the continent; build helpful, local products; and support the entrepreneurs and small businesses that underpin Africa’s economies. 


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