Google’s 1st African Developer Space In Nigeria Is Free To Use For All

Written by Peter Pedroncelli
Developers Space
Google’s new Developers Space in Lagos is a tech hub where entrepreneurs, developers, VC firms and investors can connect and collaborate with each other. Google Developers Space in Lagos. Image supplied by Google

On Jan. 28, Google opened its first African Google Developers Space in Lagos, Nigeria, adding its presence to more than 80 tech hubs already operating in the West African country.

Google wants to provide a space where entrepreneurs, developers, venture capital firms and investors can connect and collaborate with each other. It’s hoping the Google Developers Space will fit the bill, according to a blog post.

The Google Developers Space will face competition among established tech hubs in Nigeria. There are 618 active tech hubs across Africa — with 85 in Nigeria alone, Quartz reported.

To sweeten the deal, Google has made access to the space free for all, making good on a commitment from Google CEO Sundar Pichai when he visited Nigeria in 2017.

Pichai told the tech community in Lagos that Google would start the Launchpad Accelerator Africa program — a startup accelerator that has already seen four graduating classes.

He also committed to building a dedicated space to house the program alongside other Google initiatives including developer meetups, training, experts office hours, Women in tech events, startup programs, other partner events, and digital skills training.

The Google Launchpad Accelerator program has incubated 47 startups from 17 countries in four cohorts since launching in 2018, IOL reports.

Google’s new space will be competing with established and new tech hubs including some opened in the last few years by Facebook and the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology.

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In 2019, Microsoft announced that it is investing $100 million in tech development hubs and job creation in Lagos and Nairobi, Kenya.

Through the tech hubs, Microsoft expects to collaborate with African partners, universities, governments and developers to drive impact and innovation in fintech, agritech and off-grid energy, according to CNBCAfrica.

Lagos is also home to Co-creation Hub, a technology innovation center that acquired Kenya’s iHub for an undisclosed amount in 2019, bringing together two of the most recognizable tech hubs in Africa.

Co-creation Hub has built a community of more than 14,000 people and has incubated and provided support to more than 120 early-stage startups including Lifebank, Riby, BudgIT and WeCyclers.