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Google makes inroads into Africa

Doing business in China has proved a case of easier said than done for Google. But there's another untapped market to be found on the African continent, as The Next Web's Nmachi Jidenma writes, where the web giant has fingers in multiple pies.

Globally, there are 94 domains registered per 10,000 users. In Africa, there is only one domain per 10,000 users. So there's plenty of scope to grow.

“If you want to be successful you have to do a good job at localising content,” says Nelson Mattos, Google’s VP of Development for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

And that, more or less, is what the company is doing.

For starters, it's working with universities to help them expand their bandwidth capacity. Other projects include a free Q&A-type service called Baraza, text message-based hints and tips, and of course local search products. Google was also behind the Get African Business Online (GABO) initiative last year, which helped select Nigerian businesses get into e-commerce.

So is it a case of build it and they will come? Apparently thinking local is indeed starting to pay dividends.

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