I am Emeka Afigbo Google's Program Manager for Developer Relations, Ask me anything


Hi @nke_ise ,

Great responses, can’t miss a lesson, or two, or more :slight_smile: from your wise words above!!

You’ve always had spectacular contributions to SSA’s developer ecosystem. Needless to say, gender (im)balance in the ecosystem is something we constantly have to purpose to look into, at the very least to ensure that we have a favourable mix of the ‘mesh’ while building our dev ecosystem bridge here in Africa.

So my question: what would you advice we can work on to further improve on the gender side in our developer ecosystem?


Nke Ise,

Welcome to the beer parlour.

I have been reading questions and responses and after I have decapitated a few drinks, I would like to ask one of my own

When is Google Launchpad coming to West Africa? Or more specifically, when is it going to be launched in that region?

Thanks for all the good work!


Hi Chibuzo…
Thank you for blowing my cover :smile: and for your kind words.

It is true that collaboration in this market is not easy.
But I believe that It is possible…or rather it HAS TO BE possible if we are to make any headway.

People in other sectors are already doing it. When you look at the signboard in front of a huge construction site, it lists companies that are all part of the project : the Architects, structural engineers, and so on.
For them to have come together to put up that building , many meetings must have happened, agreements must have been signed and so on. How do they do it? How can we replicate the same in the tech space?

If I had super powers, maybe I would invest a lot of those powers in educating members of the law profession about technology and IP law. This is one area where I think we are very weak in this region.
Many of the lawyers that are trained in this part of the world do not understand how technology and IP works particularly given the unique culture and also the state of the overall legal system and so they cannot even draft a binding agreement for tech based deal.

Also I think that all it takes is for the first home grown African tech company to be bought and sold for $1B, then people will realize that this is long term game and not a short term one. They will sit up and ask: How did they do it? How can we do the same?

Already we beginning to see some positive signs, e.g. a few small mergers/ acquisitions here and there show that the ecosystem is maturing.
e.g. Konga acquired a company for Kongapay and Safaricom acquired the M-Ledger mobile app proving that it is possible for this to happen in our ecosystem.

As for what I can do in my position ?
Lets watch this space (Seriously working on it) :smile:


Rushing home now that the traffic has died down.
Will continue once I get home.
Please keep the questions coming!


Oga Emeka.

Did you forget the South as part of regional collaboration? :disappointed_relieved:


Thanks a lot @biodunalfet,

Great to know that you have benefited from our community programs.

I agree with you that there is a lot of focus on software.

We would definitely love to do more around hardware . The challenge is that hardware initiatives are harder to scale due to the fact that there is a higher cost component and also you have to think about the logistics involved.

For example if one is running a campaign around the Arduino platform , you have to think of how to ensure that everyone across the region has an equal opportunity to get their hands on a device to practice with.

But I hear you and we will see if we can at least fit in some hardware related content into the subsequent offline dev kits


I am back!


Thank you for the kind words @morangi,

I agree with you that diversity is challenge that has to be overcome in the tech space, not just in Africa but globally.

I believe that while we should continue with the existing initiatives around women tech makers and women in tech, the real secret to a sustainable answer to the diversity question comes at a much earlier stage i.e at the primary and secondary school level.

We need to do more to ensure that by the time female students are making that choice of what to study in university, that computer science and engineering is will be top of mind along with all the other fields.

Programs like the Google Science Fair , Google Code in and CS first can go a long way in achieving this.

If we continue to wait until they are already in University, It will be too late.
At least that is what I think.


My Oga @asemota,

Please save one drink for me!

Happy to say that Launchpad is already launched in Africa.
Startups can apply using this URL .

The team will be looking into having a Launchpad Week in Africa the coming months


Hi @Sharon_Gee,
Not at all.

South Africa has been a great part of the work with other regions.

Like I said a number of South African Developer experts were in Nigeria and Kenya for the Google Developer Summits.

And also a lot of the content for the Google Developer Summit was collaboratively developed by developer experts from South Africa , Kenya and Nigeria


Hello @Gbolarhan,

Thanks for your questions.
and thanks to the Techcabal team for making this chat possible.

A huge part of Google maps has always been the community effort that goes into putting locations on the map.
University of Ibadan was actually mapped largely by Google Student Ambassadors who volunteered for the task.
And we continue to encourage people to update and maintain maps in their area.
This has continued to be the preferred approach.

I cannot give you a date as to when the portal will be reopened, but I do know that the team is working hard on doing it ASAP.


Thank you for your answer.
This is a pleasure to exchange with you.
More communications on your activities and projects would be welcome.


Hi @Emeka,
i’ve just some little questions for you :slight_smile: :

  • The first one is to know how Google determine if people from some countries can be part of some programs like GSA? it will be great if students from Togo can be part!
  • The second one is regarding how you guys from Google Africa measure GDG communities activities?
  • It was be very great for me to be part of the first SSA GDG Summit in Lagos, and i can see all of these tree submits were hosted in English countries; My question is about why any of them wasn’t hosted in francophone Africa country?
  • And to finish, i just want to know if there has Googlers in Africa who work as developer on Google products like Search, Android, Drive etc…? if so, they are located in which offices? If not, why?



Hello @setico,

Great to hear from you and thank you for your questions.

Not sure my answer can help much here. This is a decision for the GSA team at Google, they have a methodology for determining which students from which countries are eligible to apply.

There are several ways we look at GDG activities, first is how many physical meetups they have in a year. Meeting physically at least once a quarter is the usual average to be consider active. We also look at other parameters where possible. e.g. what kind of apps (web , mobile and otherwise) are developers building using the technologies that they learn about at these meetups.

It was great to have you and the other developers from Togo at the summit!
Unfortunately even though we would love to, we cannot host a Google Developer Summit in every location, but we will work hard to see how soon we can make this happen in francophone Africa

Please see my response to @amakaikem


Ohhh… sorry, i meant Southern Nigeria.


Hello @nke_ise ,

Q1. Ever had a ‘best day ever’ at google? What was it like?

Q2. Seeing all the cool stuff Google does( eg Project Loon, Google Fiber, the Self-Driving Cars, Project Fi amongst a million others), we understand it’s hard to roll out initiatives and services everywhere equally and that some of these are meant for specific regions. What are Googles plans for Nigeria in terms of services/initiatives etc?

Oooh, and if you’ve got an idea on why all the cool stuff happening in Nigeria always seem to be in Lagos? =D =D


Good day Oga Emeka,

Sorry that am late to the party, great work and inspiration on your technological foresight and your deep thoughts from Harold Klemp. My Questions:

(1) Since the exit of Elijah Kitaka from Google, the GBG community has lost traction, can you assist us to know your plans for the Google Business Group Community?

(2) Considering Sundar Pichai’s leadership style, do you think SSA will have priority attention on his agenda, if yes why do you think so?

(3) Do you see yourself becoming Google’s CEO someday? If a born Indian could be, why not a Nigerian?


Hello Emeka,

Please i will like to find out if Google offers any training courses here in Nigeria, specifically on adword or SEO?


Emeka, You are doing very good for the community I must say. Kudos . Quick One. Today, several sectors ( especially banks )spend a lot on software built offshore.This money could have helped the econnomy if spent withing. I agree that the development community is not mature enough to take back this market yet. But what do you think could be done to encourage enterprise development in Nigeria ?


Hello @Sharon_Gee,
There is also a lot going on in Southern Nigeria as well as other parts of the country.

While its no where near the activity levels in Lagos, we are beginning to see more collaboration across the regions.

We already know that many devs and techies from other parts of Nigeria attend tech events in Lagos, but we now see more and more techies from Lagos attending and facilitating events in other Locations.

You can see an example here and here.

The same is also happening in Northern Nigeria.

The hope is that in the coming months we will see more and more success stories from these regions