Google has unveiled Google Impact Challenge (GIC) Nigeria 2018. This is a Google grant program designed to impact communities. It was launched yesterday in Lagos. The goal is to award grants to NGOs which are using technology to drive social impacts in Nigeria.
The search giant is committing $20 million over the next three years across Africa; Nigeria will get $6 million from that budget. The company will spread $2 million to Nigerian entities yearly.
For this year, there would be 12 winners; top four will get $250k each while eight runners up will get $125k each.
The Google Country Marketing Manager, Affiong Osuchukwu, said at the unveiling in Lagos that Google would commit two million dollars into the project in form of grants to non-profits using technology to reach their goals.
A non-profit is dedicated to furthering a social cause or advocating a viewpoint.
“This is the first time we are running a GIC in Africa. Many African non-profits are doing great work with real impact, and we are keen to shine a light on them and give a financial boost to innovative projects and ideas.
“We believe technology can help local and national organisations to reach their goals better and solve some of the continent’s most pressing challenges.
“We are eager to back people who are using technology in new ways to make a positive difference in their communities.
“We also want to highlight the healthy state of social enterprise in Nigeria today, and encourage non-profits to consider how technology can help them to reach their goals,” Osuchukwu said.
She advised non-profits in Nigeria to apply to receive from the two million dollars in funding.
According to the official, four non-profits stand to win $250, 000 each, while eight runners-up will get $125, 000 each.
She said that applications would be open for the next six months.
Osuchukwu said that winners would be decided by a panel of local judges and a public vote.
She said that the winning non-profits would also have free access to guidance, technical assistance and mentorship from Google.
She listed the panel of judges to include the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh; CEO, Zinox Technologies, Mr Leo Stan Ekeh; and ex-international footballer, Kanu Nwankwo.
“The Google Impact Challenge Nigeria launches today and will close on the July 4. The final awards ceremony will be held during the week of Nov. 26.
“At Google for Nigeria in July last year, Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, announced Google’s commitment to providing $20 million funding to African non-profits over five years.
“This is the first initiative aimed at realising that commitment,” she said.
The official said that the Google Impact Challenge for Kenya and South Africa were also launched on Wednesday.
She listed the criteria for selecting the non-profits to include registration, scalability, innovativeness and feasibility.
According to Osuchukwu, other Google Impact Challenges around the world have supported ideas ranging from smart cameras for wildlife conservation to solar lights for off-grid communities and mobile application that helps to protect women from domestic violence.