Google has included Nigerians in its plans to get 10 million people in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) trained in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the next five years.
Speaking at the Google for Nigeria event in Lagos, Google global Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sundar Pichai said the ICT firm wants to do more to support African entrepreneurs in building successful technology companies and products.
He stated that, “We also want to invite nonprofits from across the continent to share their ideas for how they could impact their community and beyond. So we’re launching a Google.org Impact Challenge in Africa in 2018 to award $5million in grants. Any eligible non-profit in Africa can apply, and anyone will be able to help select the best ideas by voting online.”
“We’re giving $2.5 million in initial grants to the non-profit arms of African start-ups, Gidi Mobile, and Siyavula, to provide free access to learning for 400,000 low-income students in South Africa and Nigeria. The grantees will also develop new digital learning materials that will be free for anyone to use.’’
He further explained that, ‘’the Google’s global Launch-pad Accelerator programme will provide more than $3million in equity-free funding, mentorship, working space and access to expert advisers to more than 60 African start-ups over three years.’’
‘’Intensive three-month programs, held twice per year, will run out of a new Google Launchpad Space in Lagos–the programme’s first location outside of the United States.’’
“For people to take advantage of digital opportunities, acquiring the right skills and tools is only part of the equation. Online products and services–including ours–also need to work better in Africa.
‘’Today, we’re sharing news about how we’re making YouTube, Search and Maps more useful and relevant for Nigerian users,” he added.