Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Google Starts to Move in East Africa

Google has just announced that they will be providing free access to their Google Apps to Kenya and Rwanda.

Rwanda’s educational institutions and government ministries, and Kenya’s universities are starting to use Google Apps™ – Google’s set of hosted and customizable communications services. Students in both African countries as well as Rwandan government officials will have access to free communications tools including email, shared calendars, instant messaging and word processing under their institutions’ domain names

Google AppsThis is a very interesting turn of events. Google is starting to stake a claim in Africa by giving away software applications to educational elements. I wouldn’t be surprised if this effort spreads to more African countries very quickly. This is good news for students, and will really increase awareness for Google’s non-search products in Africa. Overall, a very strong strategic move.

What’s in the package?

  • Gmail – provides users with 2 gigabytes of storage, highly effective spam filtering and powerful search. Gmail includes instant messaging within the email interface
  • Google Calendar – is an online calendar that makes it easy for people to organize their lives and share schedules with others
  • Google Talk – lets users make PC-to-PC voice calls and send instant messages to each other for free
  • Google Docs & Spreadsheets – allows people to create and collaborate on documents and spreadsheets without the need to email attachments back and forth. Different people from within the same organization can work on a document at the same time. All revisions are recorded for editing, and controls enable people to define who can and cannot share the information
  • Google Page Creator – This what-you-see-is-what-you-get web page authoring tool lets domain administrators build simple web pages for their domain and publish them to the web even if they don’t have any website building experience.


  1. A comment at the Skunkworks blog asks if Google will be bringing in some servers to cache this offering locally. Maybe a Google Cube 🙂 ?

  2. Hmmm… A Google Cube would make sense. That would be an interesting move as well.

    I noticed that comment was left by Riyaz too, one of the organizers behind next week’s BarCamp Kenya meeting.

  3. Good things!

    Now the said universities also need better broadband esp for google talk – If i recall correctly, EASSY was supposed to allocate quite abit of bandwidth for universities…Here is hoping that it all happens quickly.

    I did use the internet facilities at Moi University, which were o.k but not nearly as fast as residential broadband where i live. I wonder if UoN has faster facilities.

    FYA – Brin Vs Bond. 🙂

  4. Yes, does the package include broadband? Or is it just a campus-intern solution (~cube)?

  5. The google docs/spreadsheets apps is pretty solid.

    It’s great to save the educational institutions from the microsoft office licensing costs. I work with the chicago public school district (K-12) and even with heavy discounts the cost to license MS office is significant.

  6. id love to be part of google east africa…pliiiizz!what do i have to do?

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