Google’s Sub-Saharan Africa lead and Kenya Country Manager Joe Mũcherũ today posted on the ICT online discussion forum Kictanet that it plans to hire a Public Policy and Government Relations Manager for Kenya.
The announcement, also available on Google’s Job’s section,states that: “As our Manager for Public Policy and Government Relations in Kenya, you will represent Google externally with government, regulators and third parties, as well as help manage our local public policy strategy and campaigns. You will work with a cross-functional team of Google employees in Africa as well as with a closely-coordinated global Public Policy team to advance policy positions that benefit our users and an open Internet more generally.”
The position’s responsibilities include developing and leading public policy campaigns across the full range of policy areas that impact Google and the web as well as engaging directly with politicians and policy-makers. The successful candidate will also need to build a network of trade associations, industry partners, non-profit groups and others to support policies that will help create/maintain a user-focused online environment as well as an open Internet.
It adds thus: “Our job is to advocate for Google on the big public policy issues of the day. Technology moves quickly, so it’s important that we work closely with politicians, regulators, academics and third parties to help them understand the issues that affect the Internet and our users. Google and the web touch a lot of public policy debates, so we’re looking for quick-witted, entrepreneurial and intellectually curious people to join our team. Life at Google is rarely quiet, and never boring so to succeed here, you’ll need to combine creativity with the organizational skills to manage different campaigns and projects to tight deadlines. Ideal candidates will be inspiring advocates and enthusiastic team players, eager to help shape the future direction of Internet policy.”
Google’s announcement to hire a Public Policy and Govt Relations boss is being seen by industry insiders as a move by the firm to move forward and cement its relationship with the new Jubilee government in the area of ICT and specifically Kenya’s Vision 2030 and the primary school laptop project.
It could also be a reaction to the fact that Microsoft has already made great strides as relates to building a solid relationship with the government as seen recently when the software giant’s Global President Jean-Philippe Courtois said the company would support the Government in training all primary school teachers to enable them implement computer to schools programmes by January next year.
The government has already set aside a total of Kshs 53.2 billion for deployment of 1.35 million laptops to class one pupils, development of digital content, and building capacity of teachers and rolling out computer laboratory for Class 4 to Class 8 students in all schools throughout the country.
Google’s former Policy Manager for Africa Ms Ory Okolloh resigned towards the end of May 2013 to join Omidyar Network as a director, investments within the philanthropic investment firm’s government transparency initiative.