Google Station has officially been launched in Nigeria by the search engine giant, Google. The Station was unveiled today during the second “Google for Nigeria” event. The company also made several announcements about helping Nigerians and Africans as a whole, opening the window for them to see the opportunities the web has to offer.
The Google Station in Nigeria Will make the internet more easily accessible to Nigerians. Not just any internet connectivity, it will provide high quality, high-speed Wi-Fi hotspots in partnership with 21st Century, which is one of the largest fibre network providers in Nigeria.
Firstly, the Station will be rolling out in 200 locations in five cities across Nigeria before the end of 2019. This will bring free Wi-Fi to millions of people in the country, according to Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, who is Google Nigeria Country Director.
The locations will be buzzing places like markets, transport hubs, shopping malls, universities, and more. Nigeria will be the fifth country to get Google Station, after India, Indonesia, Thailand and Mexico got one as well.
Google also promised on making Search more powerful for Africans with improved performance and experience. The company launched Job search in March in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. It will be rolling out in 29 new African countries soon. Google is also launching a search experience for Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria. This will allow Nigerians to explore health conditions based on symptoms.
There will also be a recipe search for anyone who needs a little food inspiration. Google’s StreetView Discover Nigeria gallery has also been expanded to include more of Nigeria’s wonders including the National Museum in Lagos, Olumo Rock in Abeokuta, Millenium Park in Abuja, and Lekki Conservation Centre.
The company also announced the updates to several products from its “Go” initiative, which were launched in the past year. The Android Go platform helps give people or first-time users with low bandwidth connections and low-RAM devices the best Google experience ever. Transsion, Nokia, Huawei and others have released Android Go smartphones.
Google Go can now read web pages out loud and highlight each word so users can follow along. While YouTube Go will allow users to browse downloaded YouTube Go videos, saved as .yt files, right from the gallery on their phones. Maps Go will now provide users with turn-by-turn directions, whether they’re travelling by car, by bus or on walking.
Google promised to train 10 million Africans by 2022, right now, over 2.5 million of the 10 million Africans have been trained through the Digital Skills Programme. Google has also mentored and trained a further 9,000 Africans in mobile app development. While Google’s Launchpad Accelerator Africa initiative promised to help 12 graduated individuals with startups from across the continent in June.
Google also started the ongoing Impact Challenge, which is part of Google’s $20m Google.org commitment to Africa over the next five years. The company received over 5,500 entries and the process of selecting the 36 finalists has begun. According to Ehimuan-Chiazor, Google is offering new solutions to improve and expand access in Nigeria and across Africa. These launches demonstrate the company’s commitment to Africa through products built to help people in Africa to make the most of the Internet, she concluded. You can follow Google’s Africa team on Twitter for more info: twitter.com/googleafrica.