Nokia plans to make Nairobi its global hub for research and investment for the India, Middle East and Africa region.
The move is a big win for Kenya which will serve as a nerve centre for Nokia’s global research activities, bringing together application developers, businesses and software engineering eco-system from around the world.
The company has research facilities in 13 locations worldwide, and Nairobi will be its nerve centre.
The Nairobi Nokia Research Center (NRC) located at the Nairobi Business Park along Ngong Road previously served the African region only.
“There is advanced development happening in Kenya. It is part of the reason why I am here. I am not visiting the 54 countries in Africa. I am only visiting Kenya and South Africa,” said Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop.
He was speaking during a round-table meeting with the technology community in Kenya held at the iHub Nairobi, in what is his first visit to Africa.
He highlighted the unique position of Kenya as a technology leader in the region, and said that the country’s track record in innovation informed the decision.
The news comes at a time when Nokia has been in the midst of a global restructuring of its sales and marketing arm.