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Nigerian tech startups to leverage developers space for expansion

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Technology startups in Nigeria, and other parts of Africa are expected to leverage Google Developers Space in Lagos, for expansion. Previously referred to as the Google Launchpad Space, Google Developers Space is a hub for African developers, entrepreneurs and startups.
  
Google Chief Executive Officer, Sundar Pichai, made a commitment to African entrepreneurs in July 2017, to start the Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme and launch a space to house these efforts in Nigeria. Sequel to that, the Google Developers Space in Lagos, will provide that home, and a space where entrepreneurs, developers, VCs and investors can connect and collaborate with each other.
  
“Google is strengthening its commitment to supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa by opening the Google Developers Space today. We have partnered with Impact Hub to bring the Space to life, and worked with a local company called Spacefinish, which designed it specifically to create an environment that fosters collaboration and innovation. We’re looking forward to working with startups and other players in the ecosystem from across the continent at the Space,” said Launchpad Accelerator Africa Head of Operations, Onajite Emerhor.
   
Emerhor explained that Google does not charge for use of the space, which in addition to housing Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa 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.
   
The Launchpad Accelerator Africa has worked with 47 startups since the first class kicked off in early 2018. These companies have raised millions of dollars in investments, and created over 900 jobs across the continent.
   
Launchpad Africa has accelerated startups from 17 African countries so far: Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte D’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. The next class will kick off at the Google Developer Space in May 2020.
   
To the Country Director, Google Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan, “This space is the next step to our support for developers across the continent. From our commitment to train 100,000 developers across Africa, and the launch of developer merchant support in the Google Play store, making it possible for developers to earn money through apps they build. We are excited to continue our journey with the African startup and developer communities.”

Through Google Developer Groups and Women Techmakers, the technology giant provides training aligned with real-life job competency requirements. There are 173 active Google Developer Groups (GDGs) in Africa, providing an opportunity for developers to meet other developers with similar interests at GDG meet-up events, which include talks on a wide range of technical topics and hands-on workshops. GDGs also hosts DevFests – community-led developer events focused on community building and learning about Google’s technologies. Last year, more than 100 DevFest events were held across Africa.

“Africa’s startup ecosystem is growing and this space is our way of supporting and being a part of that growth. We’re looking forward to working with startups and other players in the ecosystem from across the continent at the Space,” Emerhor stated.

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