Africabeta 2.0

People familiar with the matter have informed TechCabal that Afro (cabs) GM, Aniedi Udo-Obong (he’s second from the left in the picture above) is leaving join Google as developer relations lead for Sub-Saharan Africa. His predecessor in the Google role, Emeka Afigbo, left the role to do the same job at Facebook.

Afro’s Twitter definitely confirms it. The “ongoing” part, at least.

This is what Aniedi will be doing at Google:

As a Program Manager, you will coordinate, manage scalable developer outreach and support programs, including the Google Developer Groups program, across the Sub-Saharan Africa region. This could include responsibility for Google events, as well as having responsibility for content. Additionally, you will manage local regional (West and Central Africa) relationships with regional developers and start-up communities, including technology hubs, incubators and accelerators. You will meet with local region developers and companies, promoting Google technologies and programs to them. You will also track both the top apps and top developers from your assigned region and look at how Google can better spotlight both them and their apps.

Interesting times. Not least because Aniedi is moving on at a time when Afro is trying to pull itself out of a rut, and get into the race with Uber in Lagos. It won’t be easy, not even if another strong contender, Easy Taxi, seems to have dropped out of the running altogether. Uber is willing to do crazy things that seemingly don’t scale, to capture a market. Like accepting cash in India, and then Kenya, and then Nigeria. It took a billion dollars in losses competing against Didi Kuaidi in China, and today just launched a payments wallet in India, as a workaround to troublesome financial regulations. I wonder if “local”, less funded e-hailing startups can survive when Uber decides to get serious about that locale.

All the best to Aniedi on his new adventure.

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