Google has just announced that they will be providing free access to their Google Apps to Kenya and Rwanda.
Rwandaâ€™s educational institutions and government ministries, and Kenyaâ€™s universities are starting to use Google Appsâ„¢ â€“ Googleâ€™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 institutionsâ€™ domain names
This 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 â€“ provides users with 2 gigabytes of storage, highly effective spam filtering and powerful search. Gmail includes instant messaging within the email interface
- Google Calendar â€“ is an online calendar that makes it easy for people to organize their lives and share schedules with others
- Google Talk â€“ lets users make PC-to-PC voice calls and send instant messages to each other for free
- Google Docs & Spreadsheets â€“ 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 â€“ 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 donâ€™t have any website building experience.