Google CEO's visit: what Nigeria stands to gain
The visit to computer village, Ikeja by Sundar pichai took the Nigerian cyberspace by surprise. Not because he couldn't visit the country, but that he thought it wise to visit the country shortly after Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft's Satya Nadella did the same thing some months back, prompting many industry watchers to pontify that something is brewing in the Nigerian tech industry that the world is yet to fully understand, and Lagos being chosen by these tech icons, is positioned to take the centre stage.
Sundar Pichai is an indian born american entrepreneur, and according to Wikipedia Pichai joined Google in 2004, where he led the product management and innovation efforts for a suite of Google's client software products, including Google Chrome and Chrome OS , as well as being largely responsible for Google Drive . He went on to oversee the development of different applications such as Gmail and Google Maps.
Pichai gave a demonstration of Chrome OS and the Chromebook was released for trial and testing in 2011, and released to the public in 2012. In 2010, he announced the open-sourcing of the new video codec VP8 by Google, and introduced the new video format, WebM .
On 13 March 2013, Pichai added Android to the list of Google products that he oversees. Android was formerly managed by Andy Rubin. He was a director of Jive Software from April 2011 to July 2013. Pichai was selected to become the next CEO of Google on 10 August 2015 after previously being appointed Product Chief by CEO, Larry Page. In 2015 he stepped into the new position at the completion of the formation of Alphabet Inc. , the new holding company for the Google company family. Pichai had been suggested as a contender for Microsoft's CEO in 2014, a position that was eventually given to Satya Nadella.
He announced his visit to computer village at Ikeja, Lagos on his Twitter page. Computer village is a popular spot to purchase electronic gadgets in Lagos state and has grown to almost mythic proportions as the go-to place electronic devices.
Pichai said his team would be training 10 million Nigerians in the next five years. While highlighting the need for individuals and businesses to leverage on the digital space and subsequently transition into a digital economy.
Nigeria has a 191-million population and an estimated 91-million Internet users as of December 2016. This equates to 47.9% of the population, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission. A majority of the tech enthusiasts in Nigeria are self trained and are doing well in their little cubicle. This training by Google will go a long way to set up the young enterprenuers who has long been in dire need of mentorship and the right platforms to broaden their tech skills.
"Having 1 million digitally skilled young people in Africa is good for everyone. Because we think that if young people have the right skills, they’ll build businesses, create jobs and boost economic growth across the continent,” says Google South Africa country director Luke Mckend of this Digital Skills programme, which offered 89 courses through an online portal and face-to-face training in 20 countries with 14 training partners.