From the rather-sparse-of-late Google Africa blog comes word that they’ve launch their Madagascar Google. Not really too much to report except that it’s in French and Malagasy, the main language of Madagascar.
There is a pretty descent blog and internet scene in Madagascar despite the fact that connections tend to be quite slow. It’s wise of Google to work to be part of this scene and do it in a native language to the country, since Malagasy actually has some traction on the web as you can see with Global Voices Malagasy and the foko project which is working to get more folks in the country to be part of the online community at large.
Overall, this mainly seems like most of Google’s strategies to maintain a foothold on the African continent without really having to commit that much in resources. I mean, all the translation work was done for free, which is perhaps a wee bit cheeky given Google’s vast wealth, even during our “tough times”. As was shown with my previous article recounting the piece done by Atelier des médias on the Adsense issue, it would appear that Google has a long way to go in order to really figure out what they’re doing in Africa. Of course, it wouldn’t break my heart at all to see an African search and ad company take off and surpass Google. There is a lot of innovation happening there these days, so we’ll see where things go.
Google Touts their Madagascarosity