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Google’s new competition offers entrepreneurs, creatives and innovators up to $25,000 prize money

googleHas your life been changed by the Internet? Google is calling entrepreneurs, creatives, innovators and web-lovers across Africa to share their stories of how the web has transformed their lives and work.

Whether you’re a photographer, an entrepreneur, a fashion designer or a community activist, if the internet and Google tools have played an important role in your success, Google wants to hear from you.

In the next five years, 7 out of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies are predicted to be in Africa, and the Internet is playing an important part in this.  Google’s new initiative, ‘Africa Connected: Success stories powered by the web’, aims to gather the largest collection of inspiring stories about ventures established online by Africans, in Africa.  Five successful entrants will win $25,000 each, (KES 2.125M) and will also have the opportunity to work with a Google mentor over a six-month period. Over KES 10.625M will be given to the five winners.

“Google wants to hear from young, spirited entrepreneurial web adopters in Sub-Saharan Africa who have a healthy disregard for the impossible and who are using the web and technology to do cool and extraordinary things to rise above their circumstances, change their world, and achieve success. We want to showcase the amazing achievements happening in the new Africa,”says Affiong Osuchukwu, Google Lead for the Africa Connected initiative.

“Technology is internationally acknowledged as the engine of development and economic growth. It is a revolution favouring accelerated development that gives us the possibility to address national and global challenges in distinctly new ways. This campaign shall highlight how Africans can harness computing and internet services for attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),”says Maria-Threase Keating, Country Director for United Nations Development Programme – Kenya (UNDP), a partner in this initiative.

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Just a Band, an electro/pop band in Kenya, who used YouTube to learn how to create a new style of Kenyan music with electro influences, is one such example. Their innovative sound was initially rejected in Kenya, but they refused to take no for an answer and started sharing their music on YouTube.  Straight away they found a huge fan base and success – so much so that they now regularly travel to play at festivals in the UK, USA, other African countries and all over Europe.  “We have been invited to and played at events in South Africa, Germany, Holland – thanks to the internet…without the internet if there was something like Just a Band, it would be two people on guitars and one guy on a piano. But now, with the internet, its like colours, lights and chaos!” remarked Daniel Muli, founding member of Just a Band.

Magu Ngumo, General Manager for QTV, representing Nation Media Group, one of the partners of the competition reiterated that “For this reason, the Africa Connected Initiative is an ideal platform to showcase the immense contribution that Google as a brand has “touched” the African Success Story and our media partnership will seek to amplify how Google has transformed lives, created business success stories in Africa and indeed proving to the world that digital revolution in Africa is well and truly here!”

The deadline for submissions is October 11, 2013.

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