One of the things that Google CEO, Sundar Pichai announced during his visit to Nigeria last July, was that through its philanthropy arm — Google.org — the company would be committing a total of $20 million, over the next five years, to non-profits that are working to improve lives across Africa.
Google has taken a huge step towards fulfilling that promise, with the launch of the Google Impact Challenge Africa in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.
Speaking at the Nigeria launch event in Lagos today, Google Nigeria Head of Marketing, Affiong Osuchukwu said that an initial $2m in grants will be awarded to 12 non-profits working on community scale projects within Nigeria.
As to how the fund will be split among the 12 non-profits, Abiodun Adepoju, Product Marketing Manager at Google, explains.
“There will be four winners receiving a $250k grant each. Three of these winners will be selected by a panel of judges, one winner will be selected through a public vote. The remaining 8 runner-ups will receive a $125k grant each”.
The same will be replicated in Kenya and South Africa, bringing the total beneficiaries and initial commitment to 36 and $6m respectively.
The Nigerian judging panel is made up of high level policy targets and influencers within the market. They are:
- Chairman/CEO Channels Media Group, John Momoh,
- Chairman/CEO, Zinox Technologies, Leo-Stan Ekeh,
- CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Parminder Vir,
- Rapper and CEO of Chocolate City Music Group, MI Abaga,
- Philanthropist and Executive Director of Nigeria Network of NGOs, Oluseyi Oyebisi,
- Philanthropist and Media entrepreneur, Mo Abudu,
- Ex-footballer and founder of the Kanu Heart Foundation, Kanu Nwankwo,
- Managing General Partner, EchoVC Partners, Eghosa Omoigui and
- Google Country Director, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor.
|A few of the Nigeria judges were at the launch event. L-R: Oluseyi Oyebisi (Executive Director of Nigeria Network of NGOs); Parminder Vir (CEO Tony Elumelu Foundation); Ife Adeabyo (Special Assistant on Innovation & Entrepreneurship to the Nigerian Vice President); Affiong Osuchukwu (Google Nigeria Head of Marketing); MI Abaga.|
How to apply / Criteria
Applications into the Google Impact Challenge Africa are currently open in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.
The application portals will be open until July 4, 2018, after which judge selections and public voting will take place over the following four months. The final winner selection / award ceremonies will be held during the week of November 26th in Lagos, Johannesburg and Nairobi.
To be eligible to apply, interested organisations/solutions must:
- Be registered as a non-profit in their country of operation.
- Have community impact.
- Be innovative.
- Have the potential to scale directly or to serve as a model for other communities.
- Be feasible; have a well thought-out plan and well-equipped team to execute.
While this is only the first time it is coming to Africa, the Google Impact Challenge has been an annual occurrence in other regions outside the continent since 2013. Previous challenges have supported ideas ranging from smart cameras for wildlife conservation to solar lights for off-grid communities to a mobile application that helps to protect women from domestic violence.