24 February 2014

Ghana: Google Pledges Support for Developers

Hundreds of Ghanaian entrepreneurs and developers hosted at the World Bank Knowledge Centre in Accra to attend the annual Google-supported Google Days (g|days) community events for local businesses and developers in the country.

The two-day event which was aimed at providing a platform for Google to share knowledge with its user communities is now in its second year and already inspiring developer and business to get the best from the internet.

The Country Manager for Google Ghana, Estelle Akofio Sowah used the occasion to pledge Google's commitment to Ghana saying: "We will continue to identify and work with key communities in Ghana with the aim of helping them better understand how to use the creatively use Internet tools to create innovative products that will take Ghana forward".

She added through initiatives like the Google Developers Group (GDG) / the Google Business Group (GBG) community event aimed at supporting individuals and communities to better harness the internet to develop smarter products would be encouraged by Google.

Participants got the opportunity to hear from top professionals currently using online tools to boost innovation in their trades and also spent time networking and sharing ideas with other Ghanaian professionals.

Speaking about Google's reason for supporting the event, Country Manager Estelle Akofio Sowah said, "The g|days event, like other Google outreach events is one of the ways we reach out to connect, educate and inspire Ghanaian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and developers.

For us, these events are channels through which we can share learning, practices and examples that can help these indigenous professionals take advantage of web tools that have proven to be successful across the world.

It aligns with our goal of helping Africans build innovative businesses that in turn add to the continent's gross domestic product (GDP)."

In addition to the sharing sessions, the event also showcased some of the top successes by Ghanaians on the African and global stages. One of these includes successes is the $20,000 prize award to the MEST Tourbly team for designing the top SSA Enterprise/Small Business Solutions, Education, Not for Profit category app at the 2013 Google Cloud Developer Competition (GCDC).

One of the biggest highlights of the event was the announcement of the top 10 finalists in Google's Africa Connected competition which included Ghanaian SME Christopher Panford.

Christopher runs a transport company that uses Google Maps in his vehicle tracking devices to record location of a vehicle at any point in time. Because of this he was able to get loans from banks with which his auto service now provides jobs to local drivers in Ghana.

Commenting on the announcement, Estelle said "The Internet is already restructuring the old order of learning and growth, and creating the next generation of entrepreneurs in Ghana.

"This result is a testament of how the web is driving positive change in the lives of our people. We look forward to seeing who the voting public chooses as the winners - the top five most inspiring success stories from across our continent."

The hope is that these and other similar examples will not only grow, but inspire newer and more impactful stories in the coming years.

Instructively, Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets.

Google's targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.

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