Photograph — Flickr

Google has launched its first Google Developers Space in Lagos, Nigeria, a hub for African developers, entrepreneurs, and startups.

Juliet Ehimuan, Country Director at Google Nigeria, explained that the space was the next step in Google’s support for developers across the continent, stressing that the tech company’s initial commitment to training developers across Africa had been met.

“This space is the next step to our support for developers across the continent. From our commitment to training 100,000 developers across Africa and 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,” Ehimuan said.

Google Developers Space, previously referred to as the Google Launchpad Space, is specifically designed to create an environment that fosters collaboration and innovation. According to CEO Sundar Pichai, the goal is to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa and the space serves as a house to efforts from the Launchpad Accelerator Africa program in line with a pledge he made in July 2017.

The development gives African startups and women in tech the opportunity to come together under a hub to discuss the potentiality of technology in Africa. The hub would facilitate training and support developer meetups, experts office hours, women in tech, startup programs (outside of Launchpad), as well as partner events that support the wider entrepreneur and developer ecosystem. It would also ensure empowering people through digital skill training, Google said.

Highlighting the achievements from the Launchpad Accelerator Africa thus far, the CEO revealed that the program has worked with 47 startups since the first class kicked off early 2018. “These companies have raised millions of dollars in investments and created over nine hundred jobs across the continent,” he said.

Google’s Launchpad Africa has accelerated startups from 17 African countries so far including Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte D’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Meanwhile, the next class will kick off at the Google Developer Space in May 2020, the company said.

By Ahmed Iyanda

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