Dr. Juliet Ehimuan, one of the most well-known African women in technology and Google’s first West African Director, leaves the organisation after 12 years.
Ehimuan has been a solid organisation pillar and a key figure in Google’s regional expansion.
Ehimuan, a well-known figure in the tech sector and a crucial component of Google’s African projects, made her exit known via LinkedIn and stated her intention to play a bigger part in the local tech scene. She outlined strategies for working together with corporate leaders, foreign investors, African governments, and start-up founders to advance innovation, growth, and digital transformation in the African tech sector and in the larger economy.
With Ehimuan’s departure, Google in Africa will undergo a huge change. Ehimuan led her team in advancing revolutionary digital initiatives while she was employed, first as the Country Director for Nigeria and subsequently as the Director for West Africa. Her leadership has enabled a deep and extensive impact on the region’s tech economy, from the successful Get Nigeria Companies Online programme to strategic alliances and deployment and localization of important products like Google Maps, Streetview, and YouTube.ng.
The first Google for Africa event in Lagos in 2012, where Google CEO Sundar Pichai made the historic commitment to train 10 million Africans in digital skills, 100,000 developers in advanced web and mobile development skills, and a Google for Startups accelerator for Africa to support African tech entrepreneurs, was one of the defining moments under her leadership. These programmes highlight Ehimuan’s commitment to developing Africa’s future generation of technological leaders.
The continent has seen tremendous investment over the past 12 years and has grown in significance to Google’s global strategy. In fact, Google has pledged increasing sums to developing Africa’s tech ecosystem, including $50 million through the Africa Investment Fund in early 2020 for growth-stage start-ups and $1 billion in 2021 for the continent’s digital transformation.
High-priority access initiatives were also carried out during Ehimuan’s administration, including the expansion of Google Station in Nigeria and the arrival of Google’s Equiano fibre cable in Lagos. Millions of individuals in Nigeria and elsewhere now enjoy easier access to the internet at lower costs thanks to these initiatives.
Ehimuan brought a solid expertise in technology and strategy to Google, and she has made significant contributions to ICT strategy and policy. She has played a significant role in the creation of regulations that have encouraged infrastructural expansion and investment in Nigeria’s IT sector.
Her participation in prominent groups like the Presidential Committee and the National Economic Summit Group (NESG), which produced the national broadband plan in 2019, has had a significant impact on the development of the region’s IT strategy.