Global tech giant, Google announced the launching of its first Developer Space on the African Continent in Lagos, Nigeria.
The Google Developer Space is a hub for African developers, entrepreneurs and startups. It will also house the Google Launchpad Accelerator, Africa. This step by Google is the realisation of the commitment of Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google to Africa in 2017.
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The Google Developer Space In Africa
In 2017, Sundar Pichar made a commitment to African entrepreneurs to start the Launchpad Accelerator Africa program and to create a space to house the effort in Nigeria. In a bid to achieve this, Google has just provided a hub where entrepreneurs, mentors, VCs and investors can connect and collaborate with each other.
As a result, it partnered with Impact Hub to bring the Space to life. It also worked with a Local Company, Spacefinish to design and create an environment that fosters collaboration and innovation.
Now, this Google Developer Space can be accessed by everyone. According to Onajite Emerhor, Head of Operations, Launchpad Accelerator Africa; “Starting today, members of the African tech community can use this Space for free.”
Information also has it that, the facilities consist of a 120-seating capacity hall, meeting rooms, lounge/cafe, and others.
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The Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa
Emerhor further states on the Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa; “the space will support developer meetups, training, experts office hours, women in tech events, startup programs (outside of Launchpad). It will also partner with organisers of events that support the wider entrepreneur and the developer ecosystem. Also, it will support Google initiatives for empowering people through digital skills and training.”
The Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme began in 2018. And, since then, Google has worked with 47 startups from 17 African countries including Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and others. With this, it has raised millions of dollars in investment, and created hundreds of jobs.
Also, Emerhor disclosed “the launch of this space demonstrates our continued commitment to the Sub-Saharan African startup and developer ecosystems. As part of our support for developers, we run programs such as Google Developer Groups and Women Techmakers, providing training and support for developers aligned with real-life job competency requirements. Community groups engage in activities like Study Jams – study groups for developers.
Africa’s startup ecosystem is growing and we’re looking forward to working with startups and other players in the ecosystem from across the continent at the space.”
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Google In Africa
Google has a vision to help bridge the developer-skills gap in Africa by providing better access to high-quality, world-class skills on mobile technologies and platforms. It aims to train 100,000 developers and aspiring new developers across Africa. There are several programmes organised by Google for tech ecosystem in Africa in order to achieve the vision.
Some of which are;
Google Developer Groups (GDS)
There are 173 active Google Developer Groups (GDGs) in Africa, which provide an opportunity for developers to meet other developers with similar interests at GDG meetup events.
The event enjoys talks on a wide range of technical topics and hands-on workshops. GDGs also host DevFests – community-led developer events focused on community building and learning about Google’s technologies.
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Google’s Women Techmakers program provides visibility, community, and resources for women in technology. It has over 150 chapters across 25 countries in Africa. The aim is to create a supportive global community where women can connect, be inspired, and encourage each other to realize their passions.
The program began in 2012 as an annual event, but now has become a team of Googlers who are passionate about empowering women in technology.
From 2014 till date, the team is continually launching global scalable initiatives. It is also piloting new programs to support and empower women in the industry.
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Already, information has it that Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa constitute the largest tech industries in Africa. This new development will further strengthen the industry and will spur more African tech entrepreneurs to be more productive.
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