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Google Expanding Africa Presence

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techcrunch

Google is expanding its presence in Africa, in what locals are suggesting is part of a move by Google to “realign” its growth strategy part in response to Microsoft’s takeover offer for Yahoo.

Google is currently advertising or has employed staff in Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria and Senegal, and is expanding its Africa head office in Kenya.

AllAfrica reports that Google’s Nairobi (Kenya) office is searching for five senior executives for its African operations, “laying the foundation for a looming market share battle on the continent.”

Online connectivity in Africa is below 5% of the population, which isn’t completely surprising given large parts of the content still lack basics such as water, food and electricity. However the more stable African nations have started to boom, and Africa remains the final frontier for internet growth. Africa offers strong growth opportunities into the future when eventually much of the growth in Asia and South America will start to slow.

COMMENT

[Africa] is the only remaining unindustrialized continent, and it’s jumping straight into the information era, the largest population to do so without industrialization. Any company that has vision will “realign” itself.

Hash – Google started making these moves long before there was any talk of a MS/Yahoo deal. They’ve been slowly ramping up in East/West Africa for the last year and South Africa for 2 years. If you’re thinking that Google is moving faster into Africa just for what your concept of the internet is, you’re wrong there too. It’s about mobile phones and the long tail of the African market. There are more than 200 million mobile phones in Africa that few companies are paying any attention to. It’s Africa’s PC. Yes, there is a market within urban areas for traditional web-based Google products, but this isn’t the main market in Africa. Your comment that, “Africa remains the final frontier for internet growth” is true though. People are going to make millions of dollars there very soon, and the rest of the world will be surprised because they didn’t see it coming.

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Written by aheavens

February 6, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Posted in expansion, tactics

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