Google opens developers’ space in Lagos

Google Country Director, Juliet Ehimuan at the launch
Google Country Director, Juliet Ehimuan at the launch (Photo Credit: LinkedIn)

Google Nigeria on Tuesday launched its first GoogleDevelopers Space in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub.

The tech company said it launched the centre to provide a place where entrepreneurs, developers, startups and investors could connect and collaborate with each other.

Juliet Ehimuan, Country Director, Google Nigeria, said that the space was the next step to Google support for developers across the continent, stressing that Google’s commitment to training 100,000 developers across Africa over 50 per cent had been met.

She said the commitment had prompted the launch of developer merchant support in the Google Play store making it possible for developers to earn money through apps they build.

“We are excited to continue our journey with the African startup and developer communities,” she said. “Through Google Developer Groups and Women Techmakers, Google provides training aligned with real-life job competency requirements.

“There are 173 active Google Developer Groups (GDGs) in Africa, providing an opportunity for developers to meet other developers with similar interests at GDG meetup events,’’ she said.

The official said that in 2019, more than 100 DevFest events held across Africa and Launchpad Accelerator Africa worked with 47 startups since the first class began in early 2018.  She said the companies raised millions of dollars in investments and created over 900 jobs across the continent.

 Accelerator Africa head of Operations, Onajite Emerhor, said at the launch that Google was strengthening its commitment to supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa by opening the space. She explained that Google had partnered Impact Hub to bring the Space to life and worked with a local company called Spacefinish, which designed it specifically to create an environment that fosters collaboration and innovation.

According to her, Google was looking forward to working with startups and other players in the ecosystem from across the continent and it would not charge for use of the space, which, in addition to housing Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa, will support developer meetups, training, experts office hours, among other opportunities.

She said the organization would also not charge for Women in tech events, startup programs outside of Launchpad, partner events that support the wider entrepreneur and developer ecosystem, Google initiatives for empowering people through digital skills training, among others.

 Launchpad Africa has accelerated startups from 17 African countries including Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte D’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

 In a Linkedin post-Tuesday, Juliet Ehimuan said she was proud of the initiative.

“I am proud of the work we are doing and the growth we are witnessing with the Nigerian and African youth population,” she wrote. “A great day, indeed!”

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