Written by Anthony Aisi
This week Google is bringing together over 500 key players from different sectors including tech industry, advertising agencies, government, developers, publishers and Swahili language specialists to 1 Venue over 4 days. This series of events have been created to discuss the role technology will play in Kenya’s future by driving growth and innovation. Going Google and Think with Google are the first events of their kind to be held in sub-Saharan Africa.
A series of workshops was held on Tuesday for publishers and media houses to facilitate a transfer of important skills and tools for online success.
Going Google Africa, led by Google Enterprise and e-Momentum (a Nairobi-based Google Apps Premier Partner) will host CEOs and CIOs to demonstrate the critical role online solutions are playing in business, and the shift from personal productivity to collaboration across physical boundaries.
Joseph Mucheru, Kenya Country Manager and Google SSA ambassador explained: “We want to share the value that digital can bring to different sectors, but also connect Kenyan businesses with local talent who can execute on their digital strategy. Our vision is to align the Kenyan private sector with homegrown talent so as to create a local thriving digital ecosystem.” During the week-long program, developers will also be linked to local businesses through a series of interactive Developer Groups to help them tap into the Kenya Vision 2030.
“The web is fundamentally changing the way we work and removing the borders. Over 5 million businesses have now moved to Google Apps. This demonstrates how technology and the Internet are helping businesses to grow,” Didier Goibert, Google Director of Enterprise, EMEA further added.
Think with Google aims to highlight the importance of industry and consumer insights to marketing decision makers and influencers, especially during economic slowdowns.
The session included discussions on how technology and the Internet can help businesses grow and succeed in a slowdown; how to structure an organisation to ensure people thrive; how to innovate and stay ahead of the competition whilst driving profitability; and how to utilise and share data to discover game-changing opportunities and make the right decisions.
Meeting these challenges requires businesses to innovate, and this is what Think with Google is all about inspiring businesses to meet these challenges.
The goal of the Google in Swahili workshop, planned towards the end of the week, is to initiate discussion with Swahili experts and enthusiasts on how to increase local content in Swahili on the Internet.
“While various Google products are available in Swahili, Swahili content online is still minimal compared to languages such as English or French,” explains Salome Nduku, Google SSA Localization Specialist. The ongoing workshop will also explore Google services in Swahili, Google Translator Toolkit and examine the role of Swahili in the 21st Century.
Google executives present during the course of the week will include: Didier Goibert (Director of Enterprise, EMEA), Sean Lafleur (Director of Sales Operations for SEEMEA & Director for SSA) and Joseph Mucheru (SSA Ambassador and Country Manager of Kenya).