Google Announces Story Competition for African Innovators .

Google has given out a competition for internet users in Africa.
In the competition, Five successful entrants are expected to win  $25,000 each, and will also have the opportunity to work with a Google sponsor over a six-month period.
At a launch in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, the global web giant called on entrepreneurs, creative people and web lovers all across Africa to submit their stories as video entries in a campaign dubbed 'Africa Connected: successful stories powered by the web'.

Google's director of communications in East and Francophone Africa, Ms Dorothy Ooko, said that there were many positive African stories that needed to be told through this platform. "We want stories that show our successes. Many of these success stories are based on the use of the internet.

"The success of Bella Naija blog, M-Pesa, Afrinolly and Mixit show that you can use the Worldwide Web to grow," she added.

The campaign is in partnership with other organisations from all over Africa such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Nepad and Nation Media Group.

The top five inspiring success stories will be awarded a cash prize of $25,000 each ($125,000 in total). Each of the five winners will also get a chance to work with a Google expert for six months on their project for guidance.

Google  opened to submissions beginning August 27, 2013 and will close on October 31, 2013.


Ms Ooko told Africa Review that the judges who will shortlist the pool of 20 entries that Africa will vote from to decide the winners of the competition will be drawn from across the continent as well.

The competition was established in order to create awareness in Africa on the power of the web/internet to change people's lives. Such success stories from individuals that use the internet to solve problems are not new on the continent.

Kenyan music group 'Just A Band' is one such example. They tried to market their first album in 2008 through local radio stations but they all rejected it. So they turned to the internet.

They uploaded their music online only to get an overwhelming response. Their efforts spurned Kenya's first viral video 'makmende' in 2010, propelling them to instant success.

The story of Noel Tagenon from Togo is slightly different. The sports journalist used YouTube to market himself and his features online to a wider audience.

He got his first shot at a wider audience when he uploaded a video of a protest he had covered of a local street demonstration which was seen by over a million people, an audience he could only have previously dreamed of.
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