We were proud to see two Nigerians announced winners of Google's Africa Connected competition. The contest - which was launched in 2013 - aimed at spotlighting Africa's growing internet connectivity and how people around the continent use the web and Google's tools (from Google+ to YouTube) to inspire change in their lives and the lives of others. Eseoghene Odiete and Eric Obuh (also known as Vocal Slender) were selected alongside Sitawa Wafula of Kenya, Christopher Panford of Ghana, and Eunice Namirembe of Uganda from a pool of over 2,200 entries from 35 African countries. Each winner received $25,000 at the Africa Connected Web Summit in Nairobi, Kenya on April 1, 2014.
Odiete is a designer who used the power of Google Search to teach herself how to make handbags and launch a successful business. She also now runs classes to help other female entrepreneurs get their start in business. Obuh (who was featured in the BBC documentary Welcome to Lagos) used Google+ and YouTube to share his music as well as raise awareness and scholarship funds to help underprivileged youths stay in school. Google also presented an additional 5 finalists (including Mayowa Adegbile who runs the Ashake Foundation, an Abuja-based NGO supporting widows - watch her video here) with $10,000 to help grow their ventures and widen their societal impact. We applaud these inspiring men and women and Google for such a great initiative! Inspired by the project? Google is looking for its next batch of success stories, and you could be one! Visit the Africa Connected website for more information.