Google has announced a US$40 million dollars sponsorship to non-governmental organizations, with US$5.8 million going to Africa for education and technology empowerment.
Apart from sponsoring projects that help in girl’s education in Africa, Google will pay a special attention to projects that use technology in bringing development. This includes Switchboard and iLab in Liberia.
“Switchboard, for example, is already working with local mobile providers to help health care workers create networks and communicate for free in Liberia and Ghana, and is now expanding to serve 44 million people across Tanzania,” Google confirmed.
Google also said that the grantees in this category are using social media, open source programming and other technology platforms to connect communities, improve access to information and solve stubborn problems.
iLab Liberia, is one of the targets for this grant. They use technology to implement a Web-based curriculum for high school. The funds will be used to upgrade their VSAT technology to help in e learning.
Samasource is yet another project that will benefit from the Google grant.
“Samasource provides computer-based microwork opportunities for women, youth and refugees in Cameroon, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya and South Africa,” Google said.
Engineers without borders Canada will head to Ghana and Malawi to develop rural infrastructure while Invenio, will be sending a team of experts to spearhead rural broadband initiatives in various East African countries.
Julie Taylor, Communications and Public Affairs Manager, and Ory Okolloh, Policy Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa, expressed their expectations that the projects will have an impact in the society.
“These initiatives were only part of our annual philanthropic efforts. Over the course of the year, Google provided more than $115 million in funding to various nonprofit organizations and academic institutions around the world; our in-kind support,” they commented in a blog post.