EAST AFRICA – Google, multinational technology company, has announced the appointment of Agnes Gathaiya as its new country director for its East Africa business.

Agnes replaces Charles Mutoro who has segued to another role within Google as the Director, Sub Saharan Africa, Government Affairs & Public Policy.

As the country director for East Africa at Google, Agnes will be responsible for managing regional operations for East Africa, developing & executing the organization’s in-country strategy for innovation and growth in line with Google’s regional priorities and mission, vision, and values.

Contributing to in-country growth of Google products and services such as Search, YouTube, Maps etc., building and managing strategic partnerships, including relationships with leading advertisers, agencies, and clients and attracting advertisers and drive ad revenue growth.

Agnes has more than 21 years of experience in organizational transformation, focused on developing strategy, and providing commercial leadership in sales and business development.

Most recently and prior to joining Google, Gathaiya was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kenya’s digital payments company, Integrated Payment Services Limited (IPSL).

She has also held leadership positions in organizations including Deloitte Consulting, and as an Associate Director, SAP. In 2015 she served as Chase Bank’s, now SBM bank, as its General Manager-Public Sector and Safaricom as Head of Enterprise Sales SME, Channel and Regional Operations.

She holds a Master’s in Business Administration from United States International University and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Bryn Mawr College in the USA.

In 2010 she was named by Business Daily as one of the Top 40 Under 40 Women in the country. In April 2020, she was named amongst the top 200 women in the Global Fintech power list for driving change in the Fintech space through mentoring and setting up support groups to share experiences of voluntary work.

The company recently launched a fleet of 35 solar-powered, high-altitude balloons across the nation of Kenya. The balloons, each of which is about the size of a tennis court, are made of clear polyethylene and will serve as floating cell towers in delivering 4G internet access to about 31,000 square miles of Western and Central Kenya.

The balloons should be able to float in the stratosphere for about 100 days before returning via ground control software. Loon is collaborating with Telkom Kenya, one of the largest internet providers in the region.

Kenya was chosen as the pilot site due to the East African country’s stronger internet usage rate – about 80% of the country’s 48 million people are currently able to access the internet. 

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