Google is hiring staff for its first African product development centre, in Nairobi

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The new Google logo is displayed at the Google headquarters on September 2, 2015 in Mountain View, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
The new Google logo is displayed at the Google headquarters on September 2, 2015 in Mountain View, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
  • Google in Africa has eight vacancies for creatives looking to transform digital Africa. 
  • The product development centre based in Kenya is aimed at bringing together African minds and building solutions to African problems to help the people of the continent, and globally.
  • The centre forms part of Google's $1 billion (R14.9 billion) investment made by the corporation in 2020 which is said to span the next 5 years.
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Google is launching its first product development centre in Africa and there are eight vacancies open for individuals looking to be among those who transform Africa's digital footprint. The major tech corporation is looking for individuals who have creative flare and a knack for problem solving.

The development centre is based in Nairobi, Kenya, with the majority of the job vacancies to be in the East African capital; with two vacancies in South Africa and Nigeria.

Prospective candidates should be well versed in solving technical problems related to smartphone experience for people in Africa, and building reliable network infrastructure.

Google hopes that the centre will become the space where creative solutions are made that promote growth in the future. The initiative aims to develop products and services that will be used in Africa and globally.

In 2020, Google for Africa received a $1 billion (R14.9 billion) investment. According to Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, this investment is a "continuation" of the corporation's promise to develop Africa's digital transformation.  

"The potential for Africa to become a leading digital economy is right on the horizon and Google is committed to accelerating Africa's digital transformation through human capital and enabling 'African-led solutions to African and global problems' through better products," said Nitin Gajria, Google in Africa MD.

The money which will be invested over five years is also set to build faster and affordable access to the internet; entrepreneurial assistance to small businesses and non-profits, as well as product development.

Here's what jobs are on offer:

Developer Relations Engineer, Android

Corporation : Google

Location : Nairobi, Kenya

Apart from having a Bachelors in computer science or any other equivalent experience. Google is looking for a chatter-box type of individual but with a go-getter attitude. So, if you're a networking type of  person and enjoy public forums this might be for you. As a developer at Google you'll be expected to network and communicate with other developers as well as advance the interests of the corporation. It's not just numbers and walls of coding but you'll be required to have extensive experience in Android and developer relations.  

You can expect to trouble shoot and debug coding problems encountered by others. You'll work closely with the internal team on developing ways to better the products, review and test new designs and features. If you're acquainted with content creation you'll have the upperhand, developers will be required to create podcasts, videos and more. 

You'll promote platforms like Chrome, App Engine, Ad APIs and other core Google Apps. Being well versed in your field is mandatory as you'll be the face of the developers therefore they need a coherent applicant who can drive change as well as voice all interests of the internal team. 

Lead Developer Relations Engineer, Android

Corporation: Google

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Lead developers don't differ from the General Developer Relations Engineer apart from their responsibilities. As the lead you will manage the developers ensuring that you represent their interests. You will build and manage relations between engineers and work with Google App and Android teams. Producing sample code, APIs, tools and codelabs are just some of the responsibilities you would assume.

Applicants are required to have a Bachelor's degree in computer science or equivalent practical experience including experience managing a planning cycle of a organisation and working across departments. Experience in development relations and public forum speaking is a bonus.  

Senior User Experience Researcher, Android & UX Designer, Android

Corporation: Google

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

User experience focuses on the user and nothing more. The Senior User Experience Researcher and UX Designer fall under the UX team. The aim is for the team to research and collect data and insights about the user experience and create products customers tailored products that fits the customer's needs, attitudes and behaviours. As a Senior User Experience Research you will help a team of UX designers and engineers develop creative and innovative products. If research is your thing, this job requires you to conduct research and interviews to ensure you stay on top the consumers' behaviour. 

As a senior researcher you'll work alongside stakeholders, with various other departments at Google as well as work and learn from UXs designers across the corporation in meetings, programmes and research tools. Google prefers applicants who hold a Masters or PhD degree in the relevant field, but don't fret if you don't meet this requirement, should you hold a bachelors degree in the relevant disciplines you can still apply. Experience with research and insights in Sub-Saharan Africa and knowledge of the relevant research tools and methods is preferred. 

UX Designer, Android

Corporation: Google

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

As a UX designer you will work hand in hand with product managers and engineers to study consumer behaviour. Research and conducting interviews needs to be your thing. As an Interaction designer you will solve solutions and create products from the ground up that are tailored to the consumers' behaviour.

A UX designer will build Android and Google Play alongside teams from YouTube, Search, Assistant and Payments. Simultaneously, helping other teams to grow as well such as the Platforms and Ecosystems Engineering, Product, and Design.

Among your responsibilities you will have to apply design thinking methods, assess cost of projects and implementing them. Applicants are required to have a portfolio of work 

Business Development Manager, Android

Corporation: Google

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

This job requires you to be able to write and speak Amharic and English fluently. This job will require you to travel to East Africa and Ethiopia to manage work relationships with various stakeholders from Android to mobile network operators, retail partners and more. It will be your role to establish and maintain these relationships with partners. You are required to have minimum experience in market development or business development. Should you have qualifications in understanding legal paperwork, relationship management is a plus. 

Product Manager, Android and Play

Corporation: Google

Location: Nairobi Kenya

As a product manager you will work closely with projects from its infant phases and oversee it until its launch. You will serve as a body that aligns the technical to the business world. You will be tasked with providing plans to accelerate product development as the corporation's grow. As a manager you will crack problems faced by users from affordability to reliable connectivity ensuring that users get the best experience using Android and Google Apps. If you have an eye for detail this job may be for you - you'll oversee promoting, packaging, and analysing of the products. 

Applicants are required to have a bachelors degree but preferably candidates with experience in management, shipping, wireless technologies and ability to work across teams. 

Developer Ecosystem Communities Lead

Corporation: Google

Location: Lagos, Nigeria; Nairobi, Kenya; Johannesburg, South Africa

Applicants when applying can share their preferred working location. This position will require individuals to work with outreach and support programmes like the Google Developer Groups (GDG), Google Developer Student Clubs (GDSC), and Women Techmakers (WTM) programmes, across Sub-Saharan Africa. You would be responsible for content creation and Google events. 

You will be required to work with developers and apps from your region as well as technology hubs. A degree is not required for this position however you will be required to provide evidence on experience on facilitating community projects or initiatives as well as programme/project management. Being able to speak French fluently is a bonus including public speaking or representing an organisation to the public. 

Product Marketing Manager, Platform and Ecosystem

Corporation: Google

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Lagos Nigeria

Applicants can state in their application which location they would prefer for this job. As a marketing manager you will immerse yourself in all aspects of the marketing not just the products or the business. You will work closely with sales, communication and legal departments. You will be hands on from the beginning of the marketing strategy of a particular product to the end. You will execute campaigns, work with external agencies as well. 

Applicants are required to have a bachelors degree and experience in marketing or sales as a minimum. Preferred qualifications are experience in implementing marketing frameworks, creative and leadership skills, and managing and running a marketing campaign. 

No closing date for the applications are provided but it would serve you well to apply as soon as possible. Applications can be submitted online here. 

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