By Juliet Umeh
Google Wednesday, announced partnership with the Nigerian Government to make an online safety curriculum available to all primary and secondary school students in the country.
The safety curriculum is expected to reach about 56 million Nigerian students per year, Announcing this at the third Google for Nigeria event in Lagos, it said the initiative was because one in three internet users is under 18 years and their safety is very paramount.
In 2017 Google promised to train 10 million people in Africa on digital skills over five years. However, it also announced yesterday that at the last count, about four million Africans have already been trained; among them 15,000 developers even as it has awarded 33,000 scholarships to help African developers become certified on Android, Web, and Cloud technologies.
The technology giant has also graduated 35 start-ups through its Launchpad Accelerator Africa program and, last year, awarded $6-million to 36 non-profit organisations across Africa through the Google Impact Challenge.
It is also committing an additional $4 million to support youth empowerment, gender equality and agriculture, alongside piloting new initiatives to power the social impact ecosystem and promote research on what the future of work looks like for African youth.
Besides these commitments, it also announced new products and features to help more people in Nigeria and across Africa live easy lives. The products include navigation instructions in a Nigerian voice for motorcycle and car driving modes, new Street View imagery, Gallery Go, Google Go updates, Google Lens, Bolo, and a Nigerian culinary experience from Google Arts and Culture.
Country Director, Nigeria, Juliet Ehimaun, said, “Every day, people in Nigeria, Africa and around the world turn to Google for help. We hope that the products and updates we’re announcing today will make Google even more helpful for fuelling people’s hustles and getting things done. We remain committed to bringing the transformational power of technology to everyone in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
“Google has introduced a dedicated travel mode in Google Maps to provide directions and navigation for motorcycles in Nigeria. This will also be available in Benin Republic, Ghana, Rwanda, Togo and Uganda from today. Google has also launched navigation instructions in a Nigerian voice for both motorcycle and car driving modes. In the next few months, Google will introduce a new directions experience for Lagos that is optimised for informal transit, bringing Danfo routes into Google Maps.
She added that Google is publishing more panoramic imagery on Street View, to help make it easier to visually explore places in Nigeria.
Google started the initiative with imagery of Lagos two years ago,and now is adding Street View imagery of Abuja, Benin City, Enugu and Ibadan – with almost 12 thousand kilometers of roads added.