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Google Annouces Business Development Role in Nigeria

It is no longer news that Google has been making its footprints across Africa, starting with South Africa and Kenya and now spreading to all sub-Saharan African countries.

Last year, Google announced an Office Lead Role for Nigeria. Today, the search giant announced a Business Development Manager role for Lagos, Nigeria. This could mean several things…

For one thing, it indicates Google’s strong investment interests in Africa, the fastest growing mobile market in the world with mobile penetration ranging from 30% to 100% from country to country (with Nigeria as the largest telecoms market in Africa).
Google’s Presence in Nigeria?

Economy: Google’s presence will have a positive impact on Nigeria’s economy via the introduction of new products, services and innovations for both companies and consumers. These products and services will drive the Nigerian market towards competition and thereby make for price reductions on specific technology-related solutions. Possible products will include Google Enterprise Search, Google Apps Security, Compliance and a variety of free software services.

Thus, Nigeria’s ecosystem will improve tremendously as it will encourage technology investments and partnerships between local and foreign companies (especially those that have been skeptical about investing in the Nigerian market).

Entrepreneurs: If you take a look at Google’s investment in Kenya’s Mobile Planet you will realise that the Internet search giant is giving African web entrepreneurs a hint that they should step up with the development of mobile/tech applications and startups. Mobile Planet specializes in the development of wireless voice & data applications for mobile devices in Kenya, with a special focus on SMS-based products and services.

Thus, Nigerian web entrepreneurs will have to be more focused on web apps, services and technologies that could get the attention of Google and other potential investors. These could be in the areas of mobile technology, video sharing, online advertising, instant messaging, social networking and more.

Entreprises: With Google’s arrival in Nigeria, IT software and tech enterprises will be struggling to partner with Google in order to drive sales and market growth within the industry and further open up opportunities for expansions.

An example of this kind of enterprise partnership is Faritec, a South African IT services company which was was one of Google’s first partners in South Africa. Faritec anticipates the growth from the Google partnership to be exponential, with conservative sales estimates of R20 million within the first year of trading.

Any Start-up Acquisitions for Africa?

Well, Google announced a minority stake investment in Kenya’s Mobile Planet in 2008. For Google, “the start-up needs to be ahead of Google’s internal curve in a given market, such as video (YouTube) or display advertising technology (DoubleClick)”, according to David Lawee, Google’s vice president of corporate development.

I’ll be following any news around Google’s official launch in Nigeria and what I’ve called the “Google Boom in Africa”. Could it be in the year 2010?

Only time will tell. For more information on this story go to Google Jobs

Related Links

Google Africa
IT News Africa
Africa Music Awards

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