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Google In SA – The Boom Approaches

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.

Author

  • Tyler Reed is a technology entrepreneur, hacker and speaker on all things web and mobile. He has an interest in almost everything from advertising to physics, from finance to philosophy. He can be considered a jack of all trades, but prefers the term semi-polymath. Find out more on his blog.

3 Comments

  1. David David 23 November 2008

    A boom by whose standards?
    Perhaps by the rest of Africa or what has gone before, but let’s be realistic, until ICASA and Telkom sort their shit out we may as well carry on watching DSTV and WWF!

  2. Rob Maclean Rob Maclean 26 November 2008

    Hi. I am a business owner in South Africa. Myself – and many other according to the various Google Groups – want to know when Google Maps for South Africa will be updated (e.g. to street level, directions) to the level that it is in other more ‘developed’ markets. This is important for marketing our businesses, especially in light of 2010 World Cup.

    However it seems to be impossible to speak to Google SA directly. I can’t find any way of contacting them directly. Instead, they ask you to post questions in their groups, but these seem to never be answered, but rather are used only to understand general customer need. How do I get a direct answer from Google SA to a simple question? Thanks. Rob

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