Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates


Google to open office in Harare, recruiting locals (April Fools)

Google Zimbabwe

Google ZimbabweGoogle Africa has announced that it will be opening an office in Zimbabwe in the coming months. The office will be in located in Harare and will become one of Google’s biggest offices in Sub-Saharan Africa after Kenya and South Africa.

Zimbabwe, Google says, with one of the highest literacy rate in Africa, is a priority location for the web giant. “Zimbabwe has experienced significant growth and stability in the past 2 years. It’s a priority location for us. Rather than stand aside and wait, we’d like to be part of that growth” Google said in the announcement.

The move is in line with Google’s interest in establishing strong presence in the emerging markets. Google says the plans to open an office in Zimbabwe have been on the cards for a while but some considerations had to be taken into account.

There’s been a significant increase in internet penetration in Zimbabwe and more importantly for Google a jump of more than 300% mobile penetration in just 2 years.

On when operations in Zimbabwe will commence, Google Africa Policy Manager Ory Okollo said the search giant is currently recruiting for the Harare office. Google is searching for 4 Zimbabwean senior executives for its Zimbabwe operations; an Office Lead, a Developer Relations Program Manager, a Marketing & Communications Manager and a Business Program Manager (Government and Education Sector).

According to Google, once the core team is in place, and other logistical issues have been ironed out, a launch event will be held in Harare. Eventually Google plans to recruit more Zimbabweans employees for a total staff compliment of more than 30. Google is also encouraging Zimbabweans students and new grads to visit the Google Student site.

“We’re generally giving Zimbabweans first preference. We have Zimbabweans working for Google all over the world, it only makes sense to have Zimbabweans working in the Zimbabwe office as they better understand the market dynamics there,” said Okollo, “we’re encouraging local Zimbabweans to apply”. With Google’s permission, we have posted some of the jobs in our jobs section.

Google says it hopes to play a central role in facilitating the development of technology solutions for Zimbabwe using Google tools, and in the coming year the company has plans to open a technology incubator similar to one launched in South Africa recently.

Recently, Google has launched a number of services directed at its African market. Such services include Gmail and Chrome in Amharic and Swahili, YouTube South Africa, University Access Programs, Google SMS and Google Trader.

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25 thoughts on “Google to open office in Harare, recruiting locals (April Fools)

  1. This is just welcome news for technology starved Zimbabwe. Its a sign of growth in confidence in zim’s socio-economy. Hopefully we shall not see some stupid impediments and other bureaucracy to this wonderful development about to take off. Imagine Larry and Seggy jetting in to Harare for the official launch of these offices, imagine the boom in e-commerce. Thats the new Zimbabwe on the horizon. Lets go google go!!

  2. lol lol, If you can cook a nice story like this, I will definitely recommend you to work for Herald!!!!

  3. “Google IS setting up an office there(Zimbabwe) by 2013, it will be an affiliate of the SA office and won’t be directly linked to Google Africa HQ, it will be an admin office for the Google Ad Words, Google Bazara, Google Maps Street View Zimbabwe and Google Zimbabwe Search Engine services it will also handle all marketing for Google within Zimbabwe. This office will not handle any of Google’s R&D or product development. Human Resources recruitment of a very small staff compliment will be entirely handled by the SA office and at this time no recruitment strategy has been reviewed.
    This growth thrust is inline with Google’s expansion drive within Africa’s developing markets and is not isolated to Zimbabwe.”

    As Google consolidates its android platform and other physical platform services it has become important for google to compliment it’s online presents with physical distribution networks! A sudden peak in Africa’s mobile penetration rate and adoption of fiber optic technology has definitely caught Google’s eye, considering that at Virgin’s CEO’s suggestion a number unnamed “stakeholders” and “market leaders” have expressed interest in Zimbabwe it seems Google wants to enter the field ahead of Google’s growing army of rivals.

    It seems that Google is particularly cautious of Zimbabwe’s operating environment and as such has opted to wait until 2013. In the mean time Google offices will be popping up every where else in Africa, wow!

  4. Eish, was preparing a massive CV for one of the jobs. This April fools days got me in the neck.

  5. its very sad that we have amongst us who want to work for google and dont want to start their own google equivalent upstart. in these days of ict opportunities dont look up to google you ought to start your own google and start making money and when google final arrives they might buy you or have a tough time to penetrate the market

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