Google has a new director for Africa

  • Google has appointed a new managing director for its African operations.
  • Alex Okosi has drawn up the task, formerly the managing director of YouTube for EMEA.
  • Okosi’s appointment comes nearly a year after Google announced a $1 billion investment in the continent.

Search giant Google has had the continent of Africa in its eye for some time. For two years now it has hosted the For Africa event, in which last year’s edition it announced a $1 billion investment in African startups and infrastructure.

On Tuesday the American company announced a crucial change to its executive team on the continent, which will affect its operations in the African nations it manages a presence. Google is set to promote its current managing director of YouTube for the Turkey, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) emerging markets regions to the managing director of the whole of Africa.

Alex Okosi will now be Google’s director for Africa, and will be responsible for the firm’s operations across the continent, including programs to help businesses and economies to grow, as well as expanding access and providing tools to attract even more users to Google’s many platforms.

Okosi is a media, entertainment and technology veteran according to Google’s announcement. Prior to joining YouTube, he held the position of executive vice president and managing director of Viacom International Media Networks Africa and BET International.

In his most recent position at YouTube, Okosi was in charge of in steering the platform’s growth in Africa, the Middle East, and Turkey.

“Alex is a proven leader with a wealth of experience in the media and technology industries. He has a deep understanding of African countries and a passion for using technology to empower people and businesses,” said Meir Brand, vice president, EMEA Emerging Markets at Google.

“I am excited at the prospect of leading Google’s team in Africa and the opportunity to be an even closer part of this diverse and dynamic region, which is so close to my heart,” beamed Okosi. 

“I’m a firm believer in the potential for technology and, in particular, the internet to improve people’s lives and to help individuals and businesses in Africa to thrive.”

Google has been operating in Africa for over a decade and has offices in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Last year it chose South Africa to host the continent’s first Google Cloud region. The region is set to see the company expand its Dedicated Cloud Interconnect sites to four African cities, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Lagos and Nairobi – Africa’s tech hubs.

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