Plans For Google Kenya Kick Into High Gear

    June 11, 2007

Starbucks, McDonalds, and Google – I’m starting to think that, by 2040 or so, there will be at least one building per company on every square mile of this planet.  The latest bit of evidence supporting this theory is Google’s plan to expand into Kenya.

My surprise at this move shouldn’t be construed as an insult; it’s just that Kenya isn’t widely viewed as a technological hotspot.  In an article posted on, Russell Southwood made a similar point, writing, “Google is moving outside of the continental comfort zones for most global investors, North and South Africa, and is opening its first operation in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Then again, we have seen Google’s name associated with Kenya at least once before -the search engine giant came bearing Google Apps – so this shouldn’t come as a complete shock.  And we should remember that Google’s move to North Carolina raised some eyebrows, as well.

In any event, Southwood continues, “Kenya has been chosen as the base camp for what is likely to turn into a sub-regional business.”  He then notes that Joseph Mucheru has been chosen to head up the operation.

This detail could be treated as a story in its own right.  African Path celebrates Mucheru’s past accomplishments (he is “one of the true leaders in the ISP space”), and then reveals, “This is Google’s first sub-Saharan Africa employee, not counting a couple sales guys in SA.”  There’s even a picture of Joseph Mucheru sitting with Russell Southwood (I’m thinking that Southwood is the chap who looks like Colin Mochrie).

And if Kenya’s newly situated Mucheru has any questions, he can always call up his fellow Googlers in Egypt and Israel.  Together, those locations may put Google a few steps ahead of Starbucks and McDonalds in that part of the world.