Google has launched its first Google Developers Space on the African continent, in Lagos, Nigeria. The Google Developers Space is a hub for African developers, entrepreneurs and startups and will house the Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa.
Back in 2017 Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, made a commitment to African entrepreneurs to start the Launchpad Accelerator Africa program and launch a space to house these efforts in Nigeria. The Google Developers Space is the realization of that commitment, and will provide a hub where entrepreneurs, developers, mentors, VCs and investors can connect and collaborate with each other.
Google has also partnered and co-located with Impact Hub to bring the Space to life and worked with a local company, Spacefinish to design and create an environment that fosters collaboration and innovation.
Members of the African tech community can use this Space for free. In addition to housing Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa, the space will support developer meetups, training, experts office hours, Women in tech events, Startup programs (outside of Launchpad), partner events that support the wider entrepreneur and developer ecosystem, as well as Google initiatives for empowering people through digital skills training.
Since the Launchpad Accelerator Africa program kicked off in 2018, Google has worked with 47 startups from 17 African countries: Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte D’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. They have collectively raised millions of dollars in investment, and created hundreds of jobs.
There are 173 active Google Developer Groups (GDGs) in Africa, which provide an opportunity for developers to meet other developers with similar interests at GDG meetup events, which include talks on a wide range of technical topics and hands-on workshops. GDGs also host DevFests – community-led developer events focused on community building and learning about Google’s technologies.
Last year, there were more than 100 DevFest events held across Africa. The continent is also home to 135 Developer Student Clubs (DSCs) – university-based community groups for students interested in Google developer technologies. Google’s Women Techmakers initiative, which enables women in technology to thrive by providing visibility, community and resources, has over 150 chapters across 25 countries in Africa.