36 African non-profits and social enterprises win $6m in total grants from Google

November 29, 2018 · 4 min read
No Image

At simultaneous events held in Lagos, Johannesburg and Nairobi yesterday, Google announced the winners of its first Google Impact Challenge in Africa.

This is in part fulfilment of Google’s commitment to grant a total of $20 million, over the next five years, to non-profits that are working to improve lives across Africa.

The first tranche, $6m in total, will be granted to yesterday’s winners — 12 from each represented country (Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa), 36 in total.

Applications for the Google Impact Challenge opened in May. More than 5,000 entries were received in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Judging to narrow down the 12 finalists was conducted by a team of Googlers and Google partners with expertise in the sector. Voting was then opened to the public from 8 to 26 November.

On the night of the award ceremony, each entrant pitched their enterprise to an independent judging panel, which voted on the winners. The results of the public vote determined the people’s choice winner.

In each of the three participating countries, the top four winners will receive $250k each. Three of these winners were selected by the panel of independent judges, one winner was selected through a public vote (people’s choice). The remaining 8 runner-ups will receive $125k.

Nigeria winners

Cross-section of the 12 finalist winners for Nigeria at the Lagos event yesterday
Judges’ choice ($250k each)
  • The Cece Yara Foundation: Providing a safe platform for free access to healing and justice, for children experiencing sexual abuse in Nigeria.
  • HelpMum: Using low-cost innovations and the power of mobile technology to tackle maternal and infant mortality in underserved and remote areas in Nigeria
  • Project Enable Africa: Project Enable Africa Disability-friendly Digital Hubs to promote the access of persons with disabilities and their caregivers to ICT skills and opportunities.
7 of the 9 judges for Nigeria. L-R: Renowned artist and photographer, TY Bello; Rapper and CEO of Chocolate City Music Group, MI Abaga; Google Country Director, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor; Chairman/CEO Channels Media Group, John Momoh; CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Parminder Vir; Philanthropist and Executive Director of Nigeria Network of NGOs, Oluseyi Oyebisi; Ex-footballer and founder of the Kanu Heart Foundation, Kanu Nwankwo. Other judges include Managing General Partner, EchoVC Partners, Eghosa Omoigui and Chairman/CEO, Zinox Technologies, Leo-Stan Ekeh.
People’s choice ($250k)
  • Vetsark: Data science technology to protect crops and livestock from pests and diseases.
Runner-ups ($125k each)
  • BudgIT Foundation: Raising a community of active citizens that tracks and monitors government projects in their community to ensure quality service delivery.
  • LearnFactory Nigeria: EmBED (Education made Beautiful, Engaging & Delightful) — Making Education Accessible, Affordable, Engaging and Delightful for all kids through technology and borderless classrooms.
  • Junior Achievement Nigeria: Entrepreneurship and digital skills training for secondary school students to create 10,000 young digital entrepreneurs by 2025.
  • Bunmi Adedayo Foundation: Continuous in-service training for public primary school teachers.
  • Solar Sister Nigeria: Empowering women entrepreneurs from underserved communities to build clean energy businesses.
  • Rural Development and Reformation Foundation (RUDERF): ‘OLEJU’ economically empowers females to become skilled artisans, utilizing creative recycling technology as a major tool.
  • The Roothub Tech 101: A training programme to equip disadvantaged youths in rural areas of Nigeria with digital skills.
  • Seed Tracker – IITA: A digital app to enhance quality seed production and access to seed markets.

The Nigerian event was graced by the wife of the Vice-President of Nigeria, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, who happens to be a patron of Google Impact Challenge in Nigeria.

Learn more about all the Nigeria winners here

Kenya winners

Judges’ choice ($250k each)
  • Startup Lions: A home for Africa’s rural youth to learn, earn and innovate.
  • African Prisons Project:  Enhancing access to justice and economic empowerment.
  • UjuziKilimo Solutions: Sensors and Big Data analytics for small holder precision farming.
People’s choice ($250k)
  • Lewa Wildlife Conservancy: A digital literacy programme to provide fair access quality education to children and youth in marginalised communities.
Runner-ups ($125k each)
  • AfriScout—A PCI Social Enterprise: Revolutionising the way pastoralists make migration decisions using the power of satellite and mobile technology.
  • The Somo Project: Empowering entrepreneurs to create change in their underserved communities.
  • Sauti East Africa: A mobile information platform empowering women cross-border traders to work safely, legally and profitably across East Africa.
  • GiveDirectly Kenya: Unconditional cash grants for hundreds of young people living in Nairobi’s urban informal settlements to support entrepreneurship.
  • Global Minimum InLab: Innovation Labs to empower vulnerable Kenyan youth.
  • M-Shule: A personalised learning platform that combines AI with SMS to transform primary school education for students across Africa.
  • Creatives Garage: Kalabars — reclaiming the African narrative.
  • NairoBits Trust: Tech for Empowerment: Leveraging on technology to transform lives.

Learn more about all the Kenya winners here

South Africa winners

Judges’ choice ($250k each)
  • RLabs (Zlto Digital Platform): A mobile and blockchain platform that tracks and incentivises positive behaviour in youths.
  • Gradesmatch: A platform to serve as a comprehensive career guide.
  • Corruption Watch: BUA MZANSI — An online interactive website to enhance public participation and transparency in policing.
People’s choice ($250k)
  • Memeza Shout Crime Prevention: Bringing safety to vulnerable people through a Public Community Alarm System.
Runner-ups ($125k each)
  • Clothes to Good: Helping mothers of children with disabilities to find financial independence in a green eco-system via clothing recycling.
  • The MakerSpace Foundation: The MakerSpace offers tools, technology, training and physical work space to enable people to make things that improve the world around them.
  • The Youth Employment Service: A business-driven collaboration with government that offers a disruptive approach to South Africa’s youth unemployment challenge.
  • hearX Group: Ears and Eyes for Education (3E) — a mHealth supported community-based programme.
  • Quirky 30 NPC: Coding a New Future.
  • GreenFingers Mobile: A digital solution to enable small and emerging farmers to access the market.
  • mLab CodeUp! — Matching coders to community startups to build prototypes and gain practical work experience.
  • Saide’s African Storybook initiative: An offline app to create and publish illustrated digital African storybooks with young children.

Learn more about all the South Africa winners here

Múyìwá Mátùlúkò

Múyìwá Mátùlúkò


I bully myself because I make me do what I put my mind to. Find me on Twitter @MuyoSan.

Latest Stories


Techpoint Logo Footer

43b, Emina Cres, Allen, Ikeja.

Techpoint instagramTechpoint twitterTechpoint facebookTechpoint youtubeTechpoint linkedin

© 2022 Techpremier Media Limited. All rights reserved