Google Pledges $6m to Help Innovative Non-Profit Organisations in Africa

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Google has announced the launch of its 2018 Google Africa Impact Challenge, which will give $6 million to selected innovative and registered non-profits and social enterprises in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa that make use of technology in new ways to solve societal challenges.

The Google Africa Impact Challenge is in fulfillment of the promise made by Google CEO, Sundar Pichai’s announcement when he visited Nigeria last July. He said, “Our charitable arm, Google.org, will be committing $20m in grants to high impact non-profits in Africa over the next few years.”

The $6m funding will be split across the three countries, with Nigeria to receive $2 million, which will be awarded to 12 non-profits with game-changing ideas to create economic opportunity in their communities. The 12 non-profits would be decided by a panel of local partners and a 3-weeks public vote.

This panel of judges include Mr. Leo Stan Ekeh (CEO, Zinox Technologies), Kanu Nwankwo (OON, Ex-international footballer and founder of the Kanu Heart Foundation), Oluseyi Oyebisi (Philanthropist and Executive, Director of Nigeria Network of NGOs), Mo Abudu (Chairman and CEO of EbonyLife TV), Eghosa Omoigu (Managing General Partner, EchoVC Partners), Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor (Google Country Director), MI Abaga (Rapper and CEO of Chocolate City Music Group), Parminder Vir (OBE Chief Executive Offiicer, Tony Elumelu Foundation) and John Momoh (Chairman and CEO of Channels Media Group).

The 12 winning non-profits would be further split into groups of four winners and eight runners-up, with the 4 winners receiving $250,000 each, and the 8 runners-up receiving $125,000. The winning non-profits will also have access to guidance, technical assistance and mentorship from Google.

To apply for the funding, non-profits need to submit an idea that will improve the lives of people in their country and provide economic opportunities to people through innovative use of technology. Although the technology doesn’t have to be hi-tech, (as Google says it could be as simple as a text message system that sends helpful information to people), applicants from each country have to be based in that country and registered.

Over the next five years, there will be more opportunities for non-profits to apply for funding, as part of the commitment made to the continent last year by Google CEO Sundar Pichai to provide $20 million in funding to African non-profits. Other Google Impact Challenges around the world have supported ideas ranging from smart cameras for wildlife conservation and solar lights for off-grid communities, to a mobile application that helps protect women from domestic violence

Applications are open here till July 4th, 2018. Winners will be announced by the end of the year.


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