Google unveils navigation maps for Kenya taxis

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Internet giant Google has launched Motorbike Mode on Google Maps in Kenya, making it the first African state where bike riders will have the voice navigation service.

Kenyan roads are full of motorcycles taxis, known as boda bodas, that are much cheaper rides to car taxis.

Google, part of the U.S. firm Alphabet Inc, already provides the service in Asian nations, such as India.

“For over a million Kenyans, boda bodas are a convenient and affordable way to move and transport goods from one place to another,” Google said in a statement.

The company tweeted about its expansion in Kenya:

Google also said it was launching its Street View service in Kenya for the first time, allowing users to virtually explore via its images 9,500 km (6,000 miles) of roads in cities such as Nairobi and holiday destinations such as Malindi on the coast.

The company has also set aside 100 million shillings ($992,000) to train Kenyan farmers in digital skills, it added.

Google’s Kenya manager, Charles Murito, said the company had targeted farmers because it employed 40 percent of the population and accounted for a third of gross domestic product (GDP).

“We want to see the power of technology elevate small scale farming. We hope that through this initiative, we will see a positive impact in food security, job creation and GDP growth in Kenya,” he said.

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