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Google shuns Nigeria, takes first Africa Development Centre to Kenya



Foremost American technology company, Google, has snubbed Nigeria which is reputed to be Africa’s largest economy with a large tech presence, and have opted to establish its first Africa product development centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

Announcing the decision on Tuesday at a Virtual Media Round Table, Google’s Vice President of the product, Susan Frey, said the multinational technology company would also be hiring massively for the centre.

Those to be recruited, according to Frey, would be ”visionary engineers, product managers, UX designers and researchers to lay the foundation for significant growth in the coming years.”

“The talents to be hired would help to solve various challenges. The centre is looking for talented, creative people who would help solve difficult and important technical challenges, such as improving the smartphone experience for people in Africa,” she said, adding that such “talented people would also be building a more reliable internet infrastructure.

“This is fulfilment of a promise made by Chief Executive Officer, Sundar Pichai, in October 2021, at a ‘Google for Africa’ event of plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years to support Africa’s digital transformation.

“The investment is expected to focus on enabling fast, affordable internet access for more Africans, building helpful products, supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses and helping non-profits to improve lives across Africa.

“The new product development centre is a continuation of that commitment and will be working on building for Africa and the world.

“Google’s mission in Africa is to make the Internet helpful to Africans and partner with African governments, policy makers, educators, entrepreneurs and businesses to shape the next wave of innovation in Africa.

‘’Today I am excited to welcome all Africans passionate about improving the digital experience of African users by building better products to apply for the open roles at our first product development centre in Africa.’’


Nigeria’s identity verification startup, Youverify takes expansion drive into Kenya



Nigeria’s identity verification regtech startup, Youverify has taken its African expansion drive into Kenya after successfully launching its operations in Ghana, South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire and Uganda.

The move into the Kenyan market with its full-cycle global compliance products, is coming after the startup raised $1 million in seed extension funding in August last year to take the total size of its round to $2.5 million.

Co-founder and CEO of Youverify, Gbenga Odegbami, who spoke at the launch of the platform in Nairobi, said having its products in Kenya was a long-held dream for him and his partners.

“Expanding our products and solutions to Kenya is a strategic move that has always been in the works. Having thoroughly studied the compliance landscape in Kenya, we believe the market is ripe for our superior technology.’’

‘’Expanding our product offerings to Kenya aligns perfectly with our vision to drive financial innovation on a global scale.

“As we bring our cutting-edge technology and expertise to the Kenyan market, we aim to revolutionize the way businesses approach compliance,” he said.

Founded in Nigeria in 2018, Youverify provides API for address and identity verification to several financial institutions in the country, as well as countries where it has its branches.

“Over the years, the company has added more Know Your Customer (KYC), Know Your Business (KYB), Know Your Transaction (KYT), Know Your Employee (KYE), Adverse Media Screening and Risk Intelligence Solution solutions to its offering,” Odegbami said.

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‘Anonymous’ cyber attackers target Senegalese govt websites



The Anonymous hacking group has claimed cyberattacks on several Senegalese government websites in the past one week.

The group said it took down dozens of government websites for a second day on Saturday in Senegal amid months of tensions before a presidential election which has seen opposition figures hounded and arrested by the administration of President Macky Sall.

The @MysteriousTeamO account which claims it belongs to the Anonymous group, said on social media that it had targeted websites run by the presidency and those using the domain of the government, including the Defence and Health Ministries.

It also claimed to have hacked the site of the national carrier, Air Senegal, in a sweeping spate of attacks.

The @MysteriousTeamO account said the attack was in “solidarity” with Senegalese citizens and their right to freely choose their president.

Global internet monitor, NetBlocks said the attacks started at around midnight on Friday and had affected dozens of government websites, networks, and online services.

“There do appear to be intermittent restorations in service, however these have not been sustained and the attack is ongoing,” NetBlocks said.

The Senegalese government spokesman, Abdou Karim Fofana, who acknowledged the attacks, described them as a “distributed denial-of-service attack, designed to overwhelm the target with a flood of internet traffic, preventing the system from functioning normally.”

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