Google Inc, through its Nigerian company, Google Nigeria, is investing heavily in Information and Commucations technology in Nigeria. Recently, they declared and launched their commitment to removing barriers to internet access in the country, to helping undergraduate students improve their technical expertise, and to giving SMEs in Nigeria an affordable online presence.
Juliet Ehimuan, country manager of Google Nigeria, said that despite the phenomenal growth in the number of Nigerian’s using the internet, there is still a lot of room for growth. Quoting ITU statistics of about 28 per cent of Nigerians online, she said that Google’s effort at the moment is investing in building the online ecosystem.
As reported by the Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, Ehimuan added that Google is investing in getting more people online, getting more businesses online, and getting more schools online, by looking for ways to remove barriers to internet access.
One of such initiatives is the Google Apps Supporting Programme for Nigerian universities. Through this laudable programme, Google provides technical expertise to the universities to support them in building their campus network infrastructure. The universities are provided with grants, where necessary, and international bandwidth for a period of time. Google also provides students and university staff with training and free software. Some select students are given enough resources to enable them organize events and train other students on campus.
The company has successfully achieved this in 7 universities in Nigeria. With 5 more in the works, Ehimuan said that they are committed to doing this for all universities in Nigeria.
On the subject of local content, Google is also doing a lot to get Nigerian news, movies, sports, music, art, and educational content online.
Ehimuan said: “By this we have been deploying products to support the creation of local content. An example is Get Nigerian Businesses Online, which is a platform for business owners to create a professional website in minutes.”
Last year Google made a commitment to move 5,000 of Nigeria’s SMEs online in five days. The first ever web fair in Nigeria, the Get Nigerian Businesses Online web fair, took place on October 31, 2011, at the Grandeur Events Center, Oregun, Lagos, where thousands of Nigerian businesses got a free web presence. The second edition of the event has been announced. The event will hold on the 26th and 27th April, 2012 at City Hall, Catholic Mission Street, Onikan Lagos.
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