Google has announced the appointment of Nigerian media and tech business executive, Alex Okosi as the Managing Director, Africa, at the global tech giant, Google. The significant career move effectively marks the end of Okosi’s successful three-year stint at YouTube.
In a move to provide insights into his decision to embark on a new career journey with the technology company, the accomplished business leader has expressed his passion for the advancement of digital innovation in Africa.
Okosi, who will be responsible for driving Google’s vision of inclusive digital accessibility and innovation, said he is fascinated and motivated by the company’s determined efforts to improve access to technology on the continent.
Speaking on his decision to take on this role in a statement released by Google, Okosi says,
“I am excited at the prospect of leading Google’s team in Africa and the opportunity to be an even closer part of this diverse and dynamic region, which is so close to my heart.”
“I’m a firm believer in the potential for technology and, in particular, the internet to improve people’s lives and to help individuals and businesses in Africa to thrive,” the Nigerian-born Okosi adds.
Africa’s fast-growing tech ecosystem has experienced a remarkable 40% increase in the number of startups in recent years. In 2022, the number of jobs created by funded African tech startups almost doubled, according to data from the annual African Tech Startups Funding Report, while there was a surge in investments from $1.3 billion in 2020 to over $3 billion last year. Projections indicate that this growth trajectory is poised to continue, with expectations of reaching a remarkable $712 billion by the year 2050.
Google, in 2021, committed to promoting the continent’s digital growth, pledging an investment of $1 billion to the provision of access to fast and affordable internet and startup funds over the next few years.
In a LinkedIn post, Okosi says he is also inspired by the continent’s vibrant tech ecosystem and its potential to transform the lives of African youths. He emphasises his delight at the opportunity to elevate the landscape and drive it towards achieving projected growth.
As Managing Director, Emerging Markets, YouTube EMEA, Okosi played a pivotal role in driving YouTube’s expansion in different markets, including Russia, Africa, the Middle East and Turkey. He was also instrumental in executing a campaign to recognise and drive the growth of black creators and music artists on YouTube, leading the platform to secure a $100 million multi-year Black Voices Fund in EMEA.
Before assuming his role at YouTube in 2020, Alex Okosi spent 22 years at ViacomCBS Networks (now Paramount Global) and played a pivotal role in the expansion of the conglomerate into the African market through the introduction of localised channel brands, starting with MTV Base in 2005.
A visionary business leader, Okosi has pledged to deliver similarly impactful endeavors in Africa with his new position at Google.