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Friday, February 22, 2019

    5 gifts Google gave Nigeria and Africa during the first visit of its CEO to the continent


    These gifts are in form of various programs, grants and products that are aimed at African consumers.

    1.   ICE 2 – a $40 smartphone

    The device has the latest version of Android and will cost $40 (N12, 240)

    This would be a game changer for the smart phone market in Nigeria. Low-income earners can now afford a smartphone which helps integration into the new media phenomenon.

    2.    Digital Skills for Africa

    Digital Skills for Africa was initiated in 2016 to help bridge digital knowledge gap in Africa by training one million young people.

    At the Lagos event, Google announced an expansion of the program to accommodate  100,000 people across Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

    With this, Africa would move closer to achieving development of apps that meet the local need of the region.

    3.    Google.org grants

    Google also announced committing $20 million towards improving lives in Africa. This is through investing in start-ups with potentials to impact on their immediate communities.

    Two tech startups, Gidi Mobile and Siyavula, were announced to have received $2.5 million grants towards developing digital learning material and free learning access to 400,000 students in Nigeria and South Africa.

    Call for applications for the Google.org Impact Challenge in Africa for 2018 was also announced.

    4.    Lagos on Google Street View

    The inclusion of Lagos in Google Street View was another announcement that got people talking.

    Google stated that it had added about 100,000 small businesses and commercial buildings on it Google Maps to increase the visibility of these businesses and customer engagements.

    Though only available in Lagos for now, residents of Lagos can now virtually drive around the city.

    5.    Launchpad Accelerator Africa

    Google also launched the Africa edition of its global Launchpad Accelerator program, which is billed to be held in Lagos.

    The program is aimed at supporting African entrepreneurs towards building successful technology companies and products.

    According to Google, the initiative will provide more than $3 million in equity-free funding, mentorship, working space and access to expert advisers to more than 60 African start-ups over three years.

    Google Launchpad Space in Lagos is the program’s first location outside the United States of America.


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