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Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Gmail Preview Starts in Africa

Reading about the newest feature in Gmail, called “Inbox Preview” from Google has made me quite happy today. You see, it’s got a lot to do with the “If it works in Africa, it will work anywhere” theory that I expounded upon first here and here.


“Inbox Preview is now launched in Gmail Labs – while Gmail is loading, a simple, static preview of your inbox with your ten most recent messages is displayed. This will allow users like myself to be productive even before Gmail has completed loading.”

A perfect example

Basically, Google realized what slow connections were doing to people’s interaction with their email accounts. So, they sent in a team of engineers to work in cyber cafes in Ethiopia to test out where the bottlenecks were and to come up with a solution.

So, besides building in Africa to serve just African audiences with web specific solutions, we can see solutions coming from Africa that also serve the rest of the world. On top of that you can also use our continent as a testing and R&D grounds for new or improved services.


  1. This is soooo cool!!!!!!

    And yea…hope they do more of this.

  2. cool story

  3. i’ve already enabled it 🙂

  4. I’m impressed how Google knows Africa matters. SMS search, Preview (knew it was there but not the background story).

    Hey, I will start making noise in the ‘Google Checkout’ space maybe they’ll support more countries in Africa for merchant accounts.

    Also its really nice to get background stories into technology influenced by Africa.

  5. They say that Africa is the final frontier when it comes to internet access. Ihope they follow through because i do not think we can develop ourselves. We just do not have the education and equipment the civilised world has.


  6. Moses, I’m really surprised that such a statement is coming from an African. Who are the “they” and the “we” and the “civilized world” in your statement? Africa has not only the education but is already using it though not without challenges. This has been proven several times in this blog. I think you really need to change your way of thinking. Nobody is going to solve your problems for you. You have to do it yourself. And please don’t generalize your inability to make a difference, because others might succeed where you failed.

  7. All I have to say is Gmail offline with Flaky Connection Mode has changed my life here in Liberia. Hours upon hours of frustration obviated.

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