As promised few hours ago, all the reports are back from our country editors. The story of Google is one that has been written all over the world – a very innovative powerhouse that lives and dies with algorithm. But these days, they are not creating the usual algorithm of calculus by math wizards or WANTS. They are creating an algorithm of prosperity and spreading it across the world. It is doing over talking and writing papers as is done in intergovernmental organizations. Google comes to town with some of the best minds in the world to inspire, lead and empower young people.
This season, it was the time for West Africa and we cannot be luckier. West Africa hosted the very best in their calls. Google gave us positives and we delight in them.
Google toured West Africa. It began from Senegal
We keep working hard on making the Internet relevant and useful for everyone in Africa, and it’s great to see that we’re not alone in our quest – hundreds of entrepreneurs and developers keep joining us for our G-Days, the itinerant two-day conference dedicated to Google technologies that make ideas, knowledge and people come together across Africa.
In late February we made our biggest splash in Senegal yet. Over 1,000 developers, techies, students and business gathered at UCAD 2 – Université de Dakar for our second G-Senegal.
They moved to Ghana
Google is sponsoring a follow up developer/start up event with Garage 48, May 13-15th! To learn more and register, check out www.garage48.com/accra. Register Early!
And to G-Nigeria which we have written extensively; the program was a huge success.
The key aspect of Google is not what they offer these participants. What we find valuable is the excitement and motivation that Google provides to these young men and women. How will you explain finding 1000 developers in one place in an African city? If government had made such a call, many will not attend. But Google has the brand, the reputation and capacity to galvanize our talents to invent and possibly succeed.
This is what will help Africa. Inspiring young minds to do, believe, and go beyond their human capacities. Though the quality of the technical delivery by Google is not excellent, we think they did their best. Most of the participants complained of Powerpoint over real immersion into coding. It will not happen over a period of two days. The presentations are nice, but the participants may not really enjoy those. What they need is an opportunity to do. We suggest for Google to extend this program as Google University where it can sponsor 10-20 talented people to master the act. They must use local trainers or companies to extend the reach of their programs. Two days will not make much difference, technically. Yes, it will help in building and developing networks.
Google has other plans for Africa – the Google Challenge is coming. That could be the big one.
Google Africa could be the best thing that will galvanize our youth to technology. If governments are ready, they should find a way to partner with that brand. We welcome Google to Africa and we ask them to make a permanent home here. Because, if some of these activities translate to companies, jobs will be created and empower will improve.