Voting Ends: March 7th 2014
Google Africa Connected: Success stories powered by the web. is an initiative by Google to help boost the social and economic impact being created by Africans who have embraced the web, Google is offering up five prizes of $25,000 each to the most inspiring stories established on the continent where the web has played a pivotal role in achieving success.
The top 10 finalists have been selected by the panel of judges. From February 18th to March 7th, you can vote for and help select the five most inspiring success stories that are running ventures that use the web and Google to transform lives and communities. The winners will each receive a $25,000 Africa Connected prize to help make their success even greater.
Meet the Finalists:
- Mayowa Adegbile Ashake Foundation – Nigeria Category: Ngo-Community
- Eric Obuh Vocal Slende – Nigeria Category: Entertainment-Arts-Sports
Eric (aka Vocal Slender) started out working as a scavenger digging through dump sites to find scraps to sell, so that he could pay for studio time to record his music. Eric has recorded several songs, which he distributes on his YouTube channel opening his music up to a new audience. To give back to the community he comes from, Eric uses Google+ and YouTube to raise awareness of underprivileged youngsters in the slums of Lagos. He started a charity that raises funds for scholarships and encourages kids to stay in school.
- Steve Kyenze Uweza Slum Gallery – Kenya Category: Entertainment-Arts-Sports
Steve runs a gallery in Kibera, a slum in Nairobi, Kenya. He works with poor children, teaching them how to sustain their lives with art. He nurtures their talent, helps them sell their paintings, and gives the funds to their parents for school fees. Steve uses Google Search to find inspiring images, which the children can use to develop their own paintings
- Sitawa Wafula My Mind, My Funk
- Category: NGO/CommunityLocation: Nairobi, Kenya
Sitawa is an influential blogger on mental health in East Africa who used Google Blogger to establish her award winning blog as a source of reference for people looking for support and information on the topic. Sitawa aspires to build a resource centre where people that have mental health issues can gain access to information online and all the help they need to manage their conditions.
Timothy Maguire Grace Communion International – South AfricaCategory: Ngo-CommunityTimothy travels to the rural areas of Mozambique, a country ravaged by civil wars for many years, to provide people in remote villages with access to clean drinking water. Timothy is unable to speak Portuguese, which is widely spoken in Mozambique. He uses Google Translate to communicate with the communities he works with. By copying emails and text messages sent to him by project managers into Google Translate he is able to read and respond to his colleagues toget the work done.
The Medical Concierge Group attempts to help communities that have been deprived of quality healthcare and health information in Uganda. Eunice, a Ugandan physician, has built a 24 hour accessible ambulance call centre to improve access to health care services by using the Google API dashboard and Google Maps to record patient information and track patient locations. By using these tools, Eunice and her team are able to help connect more Ugandans to medical services at a faster rate therefore helping to save lives.
- Eunice Namirembe The Medical Concierge Group – Uganda Category: Technology
Eseoghene started her own accessories business right out of university. She used Google Search and YouTube to learn how to create handbags, and via Search found contacts for blogs and magazines to feature her products. Her bags, which she now sells through her business website, have been featured in over 100 blogs. Helping others create a source of income, Eseoghene also conducts training classes for other women who want to learn her trade and build a similar business for themselves. Her dream is to build her business into an international brand that promotes African designs.
- Eseoghene Odiete Hesey Designs – Nigeria Category: Sme
Lamine is the creator of Senegal TV, a web TV channel targeting Senegalese people abroad who want to connect with home.He is now able to share with the world online through YouTube. He also monetizes his web content on YouTube through Google Adsense, thus providing revenue that enables him employ local youth. In the future, Lamine plans to grow the number of his employees and to train traditional journalists in Senegal on how to use the web.
- Lamine Mbengue SenegalTV – Senegal Category: Entertainment-Arts-Sports
Christopher runs a transport company enabling drivers in Ghana to gain access to loans to buy cars, which they use to earn a living. He uses Google Maps in his vehicle tracking devices to constantly monitor the location of vehicles under bank loans. This gives the banks assurance that cars and loans are always protected, and enables Christopher to empower more drivers.
- Christopher Panford Technol Services – Ghana
- Category: Sme