Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Google in Kenya

First of all, thanks to Josiah for inviting me. My name is Chris Kiagiri from Google HQ in Mountain View, CA and I have been lurking on the mailing list for a short while prior to this post.

Here at Google, we have just announced that we have signed a deal with the Kenya Education Network (KENET) to provide universities in Kenya with Google Apps™ – Google’s set of hosted and customizable communications services. This includes access to Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, and Google Docs & Spreadsheets under their university's domain and, as always, for free.

The University of Nairobi’s ~50,000 students will be the first to be offered Google Apps for Education in Kenya. These services will then be extended to ~150,000 Kenyan students in universities across the country. The rollout will be jointly coordinated by Google and KENET.

You've heard by now that our mission here at Google is to help organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. This deal is the first step in doing our part to make sure that people in Kenya have access to the same online services as the rest of the world. You can expect to hear more on this in the near future, including the integration of free PC-to-PC phone calls.

(For more on what makes Google Apps tick, check out this video.)

On a separate note, stay tuned for the customizable skins that we are about to unveil on the google home page tomorrow (or later today, Kenya time). They are really cool and will contain some delightful geek-inspired "Easter eggs," for the more observant ones among you.

12 comments:

Riyaz said...

Chris - awesome ...

will Google be bringing in some servers to cache this offering locally ?
Coz otherwise it just increases the cost for the university - they have to buy more satellite bandwidth to access the apps remotely.

maina mwangi said...

Mighty nice of google...And with us adressing our connectivity issues thanx to EASSY and other similar projects.The future looks bright..pretty soon kids will be asking...microsoft ....what?

surambaya said...

Great work Chris. Please drop me a line at surambaya@gmail.com - we will take it from there. Look forward to joining you in Mountain View this summer.

hash said...

That's a really good point Riyaz, and I'm looking forward to what Google has to say about it. As much as I like this idea, how is Google going to be in it for the long haul? It has to be with some sort of support for bandwidth.

Anonymous said...

Chris,
Brilliant idea! Keep me posted. Kapi

Cirdan said...

Chris,
awesome stuff.

Josiah said...

http://digg.com/tech_news/Google_announces_free_communication_applications_in_Africa

Interesting comments

Okite said...

This is great! Welocome google to Kenya.Lets take one step at a time I dont think that bandwidth will be such a worry at the beggining..Kenyans hardly rush to technology opportunites...But I did not see a date? when is this meant to happen?

Anonymous said...

so another big player moves to help support kenya..cool...we love google apps....pc to pc telephony...we skype does that already so you are not bringing in anything new there..
j

Chris Kiagiri said...

Thanks for all the comments. Suffice it to say that both of Riyaz's concerns (see comment #1) are being addressed so no worries there.

Hash, you're on the right track with your surmising.

njukey said...

This is great news! looking forward to its implementation, keep me posted on further developement, njukey@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I still dont fully get what Googles REAL agenda is. I dont really see a big market here for the services they provide .... Chris I guess you cannot reveal more than you already have .... by the way I am an inlaw of your buddy Koome from Stanf.