As Vinny Lingham, a well-know South African Internet entrepreneur, mentioned this morning, Google is coming to South Africa. They have appointed Stafford Masie as the General Manager.
What does this mean for South Africa as a country? Well I believe that Google will finally help increase the standard of the ICT industry in South Africa. We have great local talent that gets wasted, but a company like Google with a great innovative environment will help foster this talent and use it wisely.
Sure this is a complete business move for Google to set foot into Africa, but there are benefits for us. Google will no doubt provide more jobs for locals, maybe not in the thousands, but more jobs never the less. Our younger generation have a high adoption rate when it comes to the mobile arena and I am sure Google will provide services for our mobiles which we can all use.
Google coming to South Africa however does create competition for some local companies as well. A local version of Google Product Search would compete head-on with Jump Shopping. Google Maps would be beefed up for South Africa to compete with Brabys Maps, which is a fairly decent service.
I believe there is nothing wrong with healthy competition, the small guys can always compete with the big corporates. Google might even buy out a few local firms, who knows. Everyone should start preparing for the shake up of the local ICT industry, once Google arrives we will have to take things to the next level to keep up.