Blog entries from: Official Google Africa Blog

Google in Sub-Saharan Africa: news, stories and thoughts.

1 to 10 of 26

July 8 2014

From Official Google Africa Blog Tue Jul 8 2014, 04:52:00

No matter where you're from, language shouldn't be a barrier when it comes to keeping in touch with the people you care about. Gmail is already available in 58 languages, including Amharic and Swahili, and we're now bringing that total to 71--covering 94 percent of the world's Internet population.

Starting today, 13 new languages are joining the Gmail family: Afrikaans, Zulu, Armenian, Azerbaijani (Azeri), Chinese (Hong Kong), French (Canada), Galician, Georgian, Khmer, Lao, Mongolian, Nepali, and Sinhala.

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June 12 2014

From Official Google Africa Blog Thu Jun 12 2014, 14:42:00

There's one thing that lies at the heart of every business: customers. Customers are the reason why businesses flourish, and their shared passion for your craft is what makes running a business so rewarding. For many business owners, customers are more than just patrons - they're your regulars, your advocates and your friends. In other words, they're your people.

The Internet is connecting more businesses with their people every day. However, our users tell us that finding these loyal customers can be complex and time-consuming. We believe it shouldn't be. That's why we are happy to introduce Google My Business - a free and easy way to find and connect with your people, wherever you are.

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June 6 2014

From Official Google Africa Blog Fri Jun 6 2014, 06:35:00

A growing number of people in emerging economies are using the Internet for the first time on a mobile device. Despite the pre-paid options and a vast array of choices in Internet credit purchases, mobile data remains expensive. In the African context, we wanted to understand how price transparency can reduce barriers to technology usage and help millions of new and existing users experience a safer, more manageable, and less erratic Internet.

In a recent study by McKinsey, over 20% of mobile data non-users in major African cities said that the key barriers to using the Internet were lack of pricing information and lack of control over monthly expenses. While there are a few ways to monitor airtime expenditure, mobile data use is difficult to understand -- what is the cost to load a "web ...

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April 16 2014

From Official Google Africa Blog Wed Apr 16 2014, 06:16:00

The Internet is changing the way Africans engage with politics, as we recently saw during national elections in countries such as Kenya and Zimbabwe. In next month's elections, South Africans will celebrate 20 years of Democracy when they step out to vote, reflecting on how far their nation has come since the first free and fair elections in 1994, as well as considering the most pressing issues affecting their lives. That's why today we're launching the South African Elections Hub, a portal where you can follow the latest elections news, videos and information.

Voters are already turning to the Internet for information, searching for the latest news and views from parties, candidates, the media and friends. Earlier this year we saw an increase in search topics such as how to register to ...

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April 15 2014

From Official Google Africa Blog Tue Apr 15 2014, 04:15:00

Are you a student leader? Do you want to make impact on campus? If the answer is yes, Google is now receiving applications for the 2014 Google Student Ambassador Program in Sub Sahara Africa.

Google Student Ambassadors (GSAs) are leaders on campus whose mission is to use technology to make a difference, not only in their universities, but also in their communities across the region. They train other students on how to use Google tools, like Google Apps for Education, Google Maps, Adwords, YouTube and more. GSAs are helping to improve the way technology is used by university students, not only in their academics but also in their daily lives.

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April 1 2014

From Official Google Africa Blog Tue Apr 1 2014, 14:59:00

Only 16% of Africa's 1 billion people are online, but, every day, the web is improving lives and boosting socio-economic development around the world. When we launched the Africa Connected competition last year, our aim was to gather inspirational stories that show the impact of the web and Google products in the everyday lives of Africans.

We also wanted to inspire other Africans to come online to explore and benefit from what the web has to offer. Today we are thrilled to announce the top five most inspirational stories, selected by the voting public. They were chosen from over 2,200 submissions from 35 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa.

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March 26 2014

From Official Google Africa Blog Wed Mar 26 2014, 08:44:00

The Google Cultural Institute was established in 2010 with a simple mission - to 'help preserve and promote culture online'. The Institute is an effort to make important cultural material available and accessible to everyone and to digitally preserve it to educate and inspire future generations. We believe that the Cultural Institute can be an especially useful way to engage students, scholars and teachers through innovative and interactive learning.

UNESCO estimates that half of 6,000 plus languages and cultures today will disappear by the end of this century if nothing is done to preserve them.

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February 13 2014

From Official Google Africa Blog Thu Feb 13 2014, 04:02:00

What if you could turn one of your passions into something that could change the world? That's just what thousands of teens have done since the first Google Science Fair in 2011. These students have tackled some of today's greatest challenges, like an anti-flu medicine, more effective ways to beat cancer, an exoskeletal glove, a battery-free flashlight and banana bioplastics. Last year's Africa finalists and winners of the Science in Action prize Sakhiwe Shongwe and Bonkhe Mahlalela from Swaziland were recognized for their project, which explored an affordable way to provide hydroponics to poor subsistence farmers.

Now it's time to do it again: we're calling for students aged 13-18 to submit their brilliant ideas for the fourth annual Google Science Fair, in partnership with Virgin ...

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February 7 2014

From Official Google Africa Blog Fri Feb 7 2014, 09:12:00

"We need more kids falling in love with science and math." That's what Larry Page said at last year's I/O, and it's a feeling shared by all of us. We want to inspire young people around the world not just to use technology, but to create it. Unfortunately, many kids don't have access to either the education or encouragement they need to pursue computer science. So five years ago we created the Google RISE (Roots in Science and Engineering) Awards, which provide funding to organizations around the world that engage girls and underrepresented students in extracurricular computer science programs.

This year, the RISE Awards are providing $1.5 million to 42 organizations in 19 countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda. These organizations provide students with the resources they need to ...

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January 17 2014

From Official Google Africa Blog Fri Jan 17 2014, 07:57:00

You've probably heard that diabetes is a huge and growing problem--affecting one in every 19 people on the planet. But you may not be familiar with the daily struggle that many people with diabetes face as they try to keep their blood sugar levels under control. Uncontrolled blood sugar puts people at risk for a range of dangerous complications, some short-term and others longer term, including damage to the eyes, kidneys and heart. A friend of ours told us she worries about her mom, who once passed out from low blood sugar and drove her car off the road.

Many people I've talked to say managing their diabetes is like having a part-time job. Glucose levels change frequently with normal activity like exercising or eating or even sweating. Sudden spikes or precipitous drops are dangerous and ...

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