April 13, 2011 – Google today announced the launch of The Google Student Ambassador Program in Nigeria and Ghana as part of their commitment to empower the African academic community with knowledge, infrastructure and tools to help access information easily and effectively. The program invites students enrolled in African Universities to represent Google for one academic year tenure on their respective campuses.
This year, 27 Ambassadors were selected from 8 Universities in Nigeria; the University of Lagos, University of Benin, University of Nigeria, Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Ibadan, Bayero University, Covenant University and Benson Idahosa University. All the new Ambassadors attended the Google Ambassador Welcome Day, held in Lagos, which was a mixture of fun team building activities and training on various Google products and tools.
Speaking about the Programme, Google Nigeria Country Manager, Juliet Ehimuan said, “The Ambassadors are group of motivated and bright students, who are eager to set the standard as the first group of African Ambassadors for Google in their region. They understand the value of the internet for students, and are committed to educating others about useful Google products – especially collaborative tools – to help make their fellow students’ lives easier.”
Google also selected 20 Ambassadors from 5 universities in Ghana; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, University of Ghana (Legon & Business School), University of Cape Coast, Ashesi University and The Central University College. A similar Ambassador Welcome Day was also held in Accra to introduce the students to the program.
The Student Ambassadors, with vibrant personalities and a sound familiarity with technology, will work closely with the Google teams to organise events and help raise awareness among African students about the opportunities and value of Google and the Internet, in a bid to make a significant impact in their respective universities.
Speaking about the new initiative, the Google ambassadors said:
Chukwuwezam Obanor, studying Electrical Electronics Engineering at University of Lagos, Nigeria:
“I would like to be at the forefront of the cause to promote various internet tools and thereby help people understand how the internet can be useful to their businesses and every sphere of their lives. There are several Google tools, which can be used to the benefit of my university. One of which are the Google Webmaster tools that enhance websites and optimize them for search engines. Use of Webmaster tools will help to improve the university’s website making it easier to access and navigate.”
Ekomwenrenern Etinosa Jeremiah, studying Electrical Electronics Engineering at University of Benin:
“I believe that through learning new technical skills in areas such as web development, programming and power generation, I can in my own little way effect change in important areas in my country. Google Apps Education is a broad IT solution that schools can use to bring communication and collaboration tools to the entire academic community for free. Also, Google tools could help to improve communication amongst students in my university and promote teaching… I intend to become a Google ambassador because I am passionate about technology and would like to bring Google products and programs to my peers and university mates.”
Opuku Papa Kwabena, studying Computer Science at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology:
“I am very enthusiastic about technology and the promise it holds for the future. And so too, I notice, is Google; the company’s technological endeavors speak volumes about their keen interest in information technology. I find Google’s vast array of products both useful and fun. I once tracked my journey from Accra to Kumasi using Google Maps just for the thrill. When I found out about Google’s search engine’s query refinement capabilities (such as the ‘intext’ and ‘inurl’ commands), it made my searching the web exponentially more efficient; suddenly it became possible for me to locate specific resources online with impressive precision. I have even used Google Translate to make sure that I spelled my name correctly in Japanese Katakana characters.”
Barbara Gyasi, studying Computer Engineering at University of Ghana, Legon:
“As a young lady studying Computer Engineering in the university, I have a strong desire to acquire knowledge in Computing in every possible way and to use that knowledge to positively influence others around me. I have always been fascinated with Google and how its determined young people are striving to make a difference in the technological world. I have been waiting for an opportunity to be a part of this force that is stirring the whole world.”
To learn more about the Ambassador and other university programs, visit: www.google.com/africa/universityprograms