January 28 – Google opened the doors of its first African developer space in Africa. The Google Developer Space sits in Lagos, the continent’s most active tech ecosystem and will house the Google launchpad accelerator Africa. The hub will host developer meetups, training, experts office hours, women-in-tech events, and startup programmes (outside of Launchpad), as well as partner events that support the wider entrepreneur and developer ecosystem, including Google initiatives for empowering people through digital skills training. African developers, startups, entrepreneurs, investors and members of the hub will also have free access to it, with the aim of fostering connections and more collaborations.
The GDS is a fulfillment of a promise made in 2017 when Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai visited Nigeria and announced plans to kickstart the launchpad accelerator for startups and a space to house the company’s efforts, as part of its commitment to strengthening the startup and developer communities on the continent. To bring the vision to life, the tech giant partnered and co-located with Impact Hub to bring the Space to life and worked with Spacefinish to design and create an environment that fosters collaboration and innovation.
Since the Launchpad 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, who have moved on to collectively raise millions of dollars in investment, and created hundreds of jobs. The hub is already open and active and everyone is welcome, Google says.