Yes, finally, the Google Day Nigeria took place, today. The program was tweeted live by the fans of Google in Lagos – the Nigerian commercial capital city. Unfortunately for those that expected to participate and master all the acts of developing on Android, Chrome, sorry. You still need to come to Fasmicro and learn Android!
Google is in Nigeria to sell its products and make money. But they are doing something great- empowering people. They are doing that but that was not what we really saw – empowerment will come tomorrow. Today, it was content to own the mobile and web ecosystem of Nigeria. The eyes are on Blackberry and I pity them. Sorry BB, you will be history soon if Google has its way. The energy, the interest and enthusiasm means the end of BB has cone in Nigeria. I have never seen a technical program that interested young men in Nigeria like this one!
Guys came in time and by early morning, it was agog with business. No African time – these boys know when to get up in time for business. They were here even before the registration people. It is boys in and there were many -indeed in 100s. It is estimated to bring up to 1000 guys before the event ends tomorrow. One will wish that Nigerian government will use Google to recruit talented minds to embrace engineering and we can fix that nation.
Nigeria should be very lucky that Google could find that number of developers in the nation. Good job Google and thanks for coming.
We took our seat waiting to learn the developing aspect of today’s event.
Then the keynote came – it was the best part of the day to me. It was delivered by the Country Manager, Juliet
She is my very own person from my part of the world; it was good seeing her live. Her statistics are not mind blowing. 180m people using Google in Africa – about the size of Nigeria. What happened to the other 4/5 of Africa? Then the good one – 380m mobile users in Sub-Sahara Africa. That was the one that got me excited because I was holding a copy of Ovim tablet. And then the dull one 91m internet users.
Let us summarize:
180m using Google in Africa (perhaps SSA)
380m mobile users in SSA
91m internet users (perhaps SSA)
What this means is that more people are using Google than internet in Africa and most likely they are going through another channel. I tried to figure out how more people will use Google than internet because Google lives on Internet. Immediately, I noticed that I might have got the numbers wrong in all the fun I had. Please do not quote these numbers as I am not sure. Oh yes, it is possible that more people can use Google because there many ways to get into Google than Internet? I need training!
Then she continued – 4m Youtube page view per day in Africa. That is awesome. How many of that translated to wasted man hours watching dancing feathers?
Simply, she got into business – Google wants contents and Nigerians should help to provide those contents.
Google was concerned about cost of bandwidth and is open to help Nigerians get online. Thanks Google for that – we need any help we can get. Some schools were mentioned – UNILAG (of course), UNN, Covenant University and others are part of the Google Nigerian University program.
Google is open to partner with developers and will not leave Nigeria until it has made all the money it needs in Nigeria. Google has been right, even from MTN, people are searching via their mobile devices and this has gone around 100% per year growth.
There was an introduction meeting on Android, API, Chromse, HTML5 and Google Maps. There was the emphasis that Google will launch some new products like Classified ads, Google Trader, etc. Google is really customizing its solutions to work for Nigerian terrain. Gmail SMS works on Starcomms and Glo. If you are building classified Ad business, get out now. Google is here. Period!
The only bad news was the delay in lunch. On a scale of 1 to 10, we rate Google 9. Why? They were able to prove that young Nigerians love technology and if you make it exciting they will come. Government, ask Google what the secret is. They made us all like to be known as developers.
Tomorrow lunch will be better because the business people are coming. Of course, I am also in. Hope they will not kick me out.
Google Nigeria Participant for Tekedia Intelligence Lab
Editor’s Note – We will produce a formal report after this event. This was written in hurry to get the author get some rest for tomorrow’s program. If you are attending this program, share with us your experiences via firstname.lastname@example.org. Today bad some of the photos could not be uploaded because of network issues in Nigeria.