Google has announced the launch of the Google Impact Challenge (GIC) Nigeria 2018 initiative aimed at empowering Nigerian citizens to execute projects that would impact the community.
The initiative was launched at the Civic Center, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Wednesday.
According to Google Country Marketing Manager, Affiong Osuchukwu, the company would commit $2 million to the project in form of grants to non-profit organisations using technology for social impact in Nigeria.
Across the African region, $20 million would be committed over the next three years.
She said, “This is the first time we are running a GIC in Africa. Many African non -profits are doing great work with real impact, and we are keen to shine a light on them and give a financial boost to innovative projects and ideas.
“We believe technology can help local and national organisations to reach their goals better and solve some of the continent’s most pressing challenges.
“We are eager to back people who are using technology in new ways to make a positive difference in their communities. We also want to highlight the healthy state of social enterprise in Nigeria today and encourage non-profits to consider how technology can help them to reach their goals.”
According to details of the GIC programme official, 12 organisations will be selected through the challenge.
Four non-profits stand to win $250,000 each, while eight runners-up will get $ 125,000 each.
Applications for the GIC initiative would be open beginning Wednesday via www.https://impactchallenge.withgoogle.com/nigeria2018org.co/nigeriachallenge.
Bunmi Banjo, another official of Google said that winners would be decided by a panel of local judges and via a public vote. She said the winning non-profits would also have free access to guidance, technical assistance, and mentorship from Google.
According to organisers of the initiative, the Google Impact Challenge for Kenya and South Africa were also launched on Wednesday.
Ms Banjo listed the criteria for selecting the non-profits to include registration, scalability, innovativeness, and feasibility.
The panel of judges include the Chief Executive Officer of Channels Media Group, John Momoh; CEO, Zinox Technologies, Leo Stan Ekeh; Nigerian rapper and entertainer, MI Abaga; ex-international footballer, Kanu Nwankwo; Parminder Vir, an official of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, among others.
Speaking at a panel moderated by a Google official, Nyanger Sember, MI Abagail urged potential applicants especially in the entertainment industry to turn their ideas to impact.
Also speaking, Ife Adebayo, an aide to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, said the government would do its best to provide an enabling environment for intitaives like the GIC.