Google launches Street View and Google Maps Navigation for Boda in Kenya

Dorothy Ooko Africa PR lead

Earlier this week, Google launched Street View and for the first time ever in Africa, Motorbike Mode on Google Maps. The announcements were made at the first  Google for Kenya, where the company outlined its long-term strategy and commitment to contribute to the country’s economic and social growth.



Motorbike mode on Google Maps which will provide directions and voice navigation. For over a million Kenyans, boda bodas are a convenient and affordable way to move and transport goods from one place to another. With Google Maps’ new Motorbike Mode, users across Kenya will now be able to get directions and turn-by-turn navigation, to suggest routes that are more efficient and provide an optimal travel experience.

Street View

Google is launching Street View with 9,500 km of beautiful imagery of Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret, Nakuru, Nyeri, and Malindi available on Google Maps and accessible to everyone around the world. With Street View, Kenyans and tourists alike will now get a more immersive experience as they navigate and explore cities and destinations around the country.

Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife said: “Google Street View will bring Kenya to the world by enabling a global audience to virtually explore our cities, other urban centres and other places of interest and also bring the world to Kenya by whetting a user’s appetite to physically visit a place of interest that they have experienced virtually. By virtually or physically visiting Kenya’s leading tourist attractions, we will inspire people around the world to gain a deeper appreciation for Kenya, its people, the natural landscape, and the wildlife that inhabits it so that they can visit and also support the preservation of this natural heritage.”

Street View is a great example of Google products which enhance the way that individuals and communities search for and interact with information that is most important to them.

“We aim to build products that improve the lives of as many people as possible. By staying focused on the needs, behaviors and concerns of the people for whom we’re developing our products, we can more effectively build for everyone, “Jeff Albertson, Program Manager, Google Maps, Next Billion Users said.

YouTube Silver Play Button Awards

In recognition of outstanding YouTube content creators, Hon. Najib Balala presented the Silver Play Button Awards to Kenyan creators who have surpassed 100k subscribers. The Awards are a testament to the hard work and dedication that creators have shown in developing their channels to a professional level.

Below are the channels that were presented with the Silver Play Button Award:

According to Lisa Rousseau, YouTube’s EMEA Content Partnerships Manager, there has been an impressive growth of YouTube in Kenya, with a notable 80% increase in mobile usage, which means more people are spending time watching YouTube on their phones.

“As more people spend time on mobile, it indicates an increase in the time people spend watching YouTube videos. This growth is fueled by all of the incredible content that our partners are uploading to YouTube, which itself is growing rapidly.  Across the world, we are now seeing more than 400 hours of video uploaded every single minute, 1.8bn viewing hours a day and 1.9bn monthly logged in users. Kenyan creators are a fast growing part of this upload trend,” Rousseau said.

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