By Joy Nwankwo
The tech giant, Google, opened its first Developers Space in Africa recently in Nigeria. This launch supports Nigeria’s digital Economy Strategy and is in line with Google’s commitment, in 2017, to build on Nigeria’s tech potential to grow Africa’s tech space.
The Developers Space, located in Ikoyi, Lagos, is the flagship startup and developer hub in Africa. This hub provides the African tech community with access to Google’s resources, programs, tech and business mentors.
Cross section of Google team and some developers present at the occasion
Google CEO Sundar Pichai, made a commitment to African entrepreneurs In July 2017, to start the Launchpad Accelerator Africa program and launch a space to house these efforts in Nigeria.
TechEconomy.ng can report that Google launched the Google Developers Space in Lagos to provide that home, and a space where entrepreneurs, developers, VCs and investors can connect and collaborate with each other.
Sharing about the value this hub offers and the strides of Google in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Country Director, Google, Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan, related that the centre stands to create an enabling environment for tech in Africa.
Acknowledging that the African continent is blessed with great talent and immense human resources, she iterated that the hub would provide access to facilities, mentors, infrastructure, coaching, investors and support for business.
Juliet shared, providing a platform for collaboration and partnerships, the hub’s creation is a step towards fulfilling Google’s commitment to:
Provide space for idea sharing
Provide 10M Nigerians with digital skills in 5 years.
This commitment and hub were borne of Google’s belief that “with the right support system, the world could see great solutions come out of Africa,” she concluded.
The Head of Operations, Launchpad Accelerator Africa, Onajite Emerhor reiterated that, in line with Google’s commitment to providing opportunities to build a network, get access to opportunities, get access to mentors, and a chance to collaborate, the Developers Space is a place for startups to learn, work and grow.
“The space is custom-built for a myriad of activities which include general workspace area, Hackathons, Code Labs, and Bootcamp,” Onajite shared.
She also informed that the Developers Space is open to anyone around the continent that may need it, in as much the need is related to tech and digital skills.
Supporting the Digital Economy Strategy of Nigeria
Representing the Honourable Minister for Communication & Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, the Managing Director/CEO, Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT), Dr Abimbola Alale, shared that the Developer Space helps to capture two parts of the Digital Economy Strategy of the Ministry.
Providing a Digital Mastering Platform
The Minister also shared the space launch aligns with the target set by the Honourable Minister for the Digital Economy of the country.
He opined that five more such spaces are needed so that the country could have one in each of the geopolitical zones of the country.
The Developers Space would also be home to Google’s Launchpad Accelerator Program. Whenever the program is not in progress, the space is open to Tech talks, Masterclasses, Startup Bootcamps, Policy & VC roundtables, Design Sprints, workshops, Study Jams Developer community meetups, and more, all at no cost to the users.