The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Google Inc., Mr. Sundar Pichai, recently visited Nigeria for the first time. This is another memorable visit following the visit of the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Narayana Nadella last year.
Mr. Sundar Pichai, spoke at the “Google for Nigeria” event held at the Landmark Event Center, Victoria Island, Lagos on Thursday, 27th of July 2017. He announced that one million people have been trained in Africa on digital skills and that Google has a program to train over 100,000 software developers in Nigeria, and would prepare 10 million Africans for jobs in the next five years.
According to the Google Country Director for Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan Chiazor, Nigeria is ranked number one among African users and the eighth in the world.
Google also announced that it will invest $3 million free equity seed funding for technology, mentorship and working space access to more than 60 African start-ups over three years and that Nigeria would benefit immensely from the $3 million seed funding.
Nigeria needs digital skills training for its youths and Google is focusing on digital skills training in the whole of Africa, to empower Africans to write software codes for their local economies.
We have commenced the Google Launchpad Accelerator Space training in other regions of the world where we train technology startups on digital skills and we are starting the Google Launchpad Accelerator Space training in Lagos, said Mr. Sundar Pichai.
Google has also launched some new products in Africa, starting with Nigeria. The products are:
- Posts With Google
- Google Street View
- YouTube Go
Posts with Google: enables up-to-date posts from verified people, places or things, to appear directly in search results. Nigeria is now the third country in the world after the United States and Brazil to have the application.
Gboard: is a keyboard specially designed to make it easy to type in Nigerian languages like Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba with the proper alphabets readily available.
Google Street View: This is a feature in the Google map. It enables you view 360o images of streets in Lagos. Users can also view any location in the world in a video form from their devices. Suhen Ruhela, who leads Google Maps for emerging countries, also announced that thousands of new addresses have been added to Maps to improve address search experience for users.
You can check out Google Street View by clicking on the figurine located at the bottom of the zoom buttons on Google Maps.
YouTube Go: this is an offline version of YouTube for Nigeria to help users save on data costs. Also, users with slow internet can preview and save videos.
A more surprising announcement by Google is its plan to launch an android device by September. The name of the device is “Freecell Ice 2” and is said to be made “specifically for the Nigerian market”. The phone will be sold for N 13,000 when it is launched.
Although not much is to be expected in terms of specs but the android device will have an integrated “Google Play protect” which would continuously work to keep the device, data, and apps safe. It would actively scan the device to make sure you have the latest in mobile security.