By Princewill Ekwujuru
Google has announced winners of the maiden edition of its Google Impact Challenge in Nigeria, where 12 non-profits and social enterprises shared $2m in grant funding.
Four winners received $250 000 each, while the eight runners up received $125,000 each. They are Cece Yara Foundation—its project was the establishment of the first toll-free child helpline and child advocacy centre in Nigeria and aims to connect victims with professional services through the web, Short Message Services, and mobile apps.
HelpMum—uses mobile technology to provide clean birth kits to ensure that pregnant women are given the best possible care during delivery, irrespective of where they live.
Project Enable Africa – a digital inclusion project that promotes access to people with disabilities and their caregivers to Information communication Technology, ICT skills and opportunities.
The last and the overall winner,Vetsark – It plans to launch Alpha Prime Disease Surveillance Technology to predict, prevent, and control pests and disease outbreaks in Nigeria to protect crops and livestock. Speaking, Google Country Director in Nigeria; Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, “Many African innovators are doing great work with real impact and Google is keen to shine a light on their work, and also give a financial boost to their projects and ideas.
We believe technology can help local and national organisations to better reach their goals and solve some of the continent’s most pressing challenges, and Google is eager to provide support to individuals and organisations using technology in new ways to make a positive difference.”
“The funding will be allocated in tranches, to be assigned to each enterprise as they reach a set of predefined milestones specific to each venture. In addition to the funding, the winners and runners up also receive support from Google to reach their goals and meet those milestones.”
Google Impact Challenge Africa, is a competition to find the most innovative African non-profits and social enterprises using technology to solve societal problems., opened in May and more than 5,000 -entries were received in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Judges include Chairman, Channels Media Group, John Momoh, Chairman/CEO; Mrs. Parminder Vir, Chief Executive Officer, Tony Elumelu Foundation; Rapper, CEO of Chocolate City Music Group, MI Abaga; Executive Director of Nigeria Network of Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Oluseyi Oyebisi; Managing General Partner, EchoVC Partners, Eghosa Omoigui and Google Nigeria’s Country Director Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor.