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Google, SMEDAN train 80 youths on digital marketing



No fewer than 80 youths were trained by Google in collaboration with Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) on digital marketing on Monday in Akure, Ondo state.

The Representative of Google, Mr Bola Kale-Aduloju, explained that the training focused on the use of ICT as an important tool in business marketing.

Kale-Aduloju stressed the need for entrepreneurs to go digital and move away from conventional ways of marketing.

He noted that the world had gone digital but that Africa was lagging behind, still doing most businesses in traditional ways of marketing.

“That is why Google is partnering with SMEDAN to create awareness and train people on how to put their businesses on internet to access its enormous advantage

“Whoever that does not move with the digital trend will be left behind.

“Though digital marketing may not totally wipe away traditional means, but it creates more sales and more accessibility,’’ he said.

Kale-Aduloju enjoined the authorities to continue to encourage people and collaborate more with partners in helping to create more awareness on e-marketing.

The state Coordinator of SMEDAN, Mr Abiodun Ayedun said the training was organised by the agency with Google to enable the youths know how to use social media to enhance their

skills and potentials.

“Most youths think that social media are only meant to post irrelevant things and things that do not profit them.

“That is why SMEDAN is partnering with Google to enlighten them that there are beneficial ways to use social media,” he said.

Ayedun advised the beneficiaries to take full advantage of the training and make good use of it.

He said, although the training was free, the beneficiaries must take cognizance of its value

The Youth President in the state, Mr Olarenwaju Longe, who commended Google and SMEDAN for the training said that it was a good initiative.

He said that the training would help boost economy and reduce unemployment in the society.

Longe asked the federal and states governments to make more opportunities for the youths and create more enabling environment.

One of the beneficiaries, Miss Serah Pelemo, described the training as an eye-opener on how business could be advertised and expanded through digital means.

Pelemo enjoined the government to make capital available for the young entrepreneurs for expansion of their skills.


Edited by Isaac Aregbesola, Rotimi Ijikanmi

Science & Technology

Google announces another addition’Plus Codes in Google Maps



Google on Friday, announced a new addition in Google Maps ‘Plus Codes’ to help locate difficult or no fixed address.

Mr Kola-Ogunlade, Communication Officer, Google, West Africa, said in a statement that the Plus Codes helps to locate people without a fixed address or difficult locations in rural areas to be located in emergency

Kola-Ogunlade said while most people take having a fixed, physical address for granted, 2 billion people across the globe either do not have an address, or have an address that was hard to locate.

He said that this made it difficult for people to find them, particularly in an emergency.

According to him, this is the reason Google has developed Plus Codes, and is rolling them out for Google Maps on Android.

‘’Plus Codes can be especially helpful for people and organisations in emergency and crisis response scenarios.

‘’If you have ever been in an emergency, you know that being able to share your location for help to easily find you is critical.

‘’Yet,in many places in the world, organisations struggle with this challenge on a daily basis.

‘’Digital addressing through Plus Codes means that everywhere now has an easily identifiable location, saving time and getting resources there when it really matters,’’ he said.

Açcording to him, not having an address should no longer be a barrier to easily sharing location with service providers from online retailers to emergency services.

He said that the Plus Codes would guide people to one when you most need them.

Kola-Ogunlade said Plus Codes were simple, easy to use digital addresses derived from latitude and longitude coordinates.

He said it could be used to uniquely identify any location, from a rural home in a remote area, to a hidden shop on a nameless street.

“ To share location, simply tap the blue dot in Google Maps that represents your location, and get a Plus Code, which could be shared the same way a phone number is shared,” the Communication Officer said.

He said a Plus Code was a simple alphanumeric code which can be combined with a locality, and looked like a regular address, but with a short code where a street name or number would be.

”Beyond using the blue dot, one could also find the Plus Code for a location.

He said that Plus Codes were searchable on Google Maps and even Google Search, meaning everywhere on the planet can now be uniquely identified.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the digital addresses were free to use, available offline, and could be printed on paper, posters and signs.

The technology to generate Plus Codes is also an open source, which means anyone can see how it works and develop their own applications for any use case.


Edited By: Modupe Adeloye (NAN)


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Science & Technology

Google partners Viacom, MTV Base on Africa Day concert



Google on Thursday in Lagos said it was partnering Viacom and MTV Base to host an Africa Day benefit concert to commemorate the Africa Day.

Mr Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Google Communication Officer, West Africa, said in a statement that the collaboration was through a two-hour special benefit concert to raise funds to support food and health needs of children and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Africa Day is an annual event to commemorate the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now known as the African Union, celebrated annually on May 25.

According to him, the Africa Day Benefit Concert At Home would be streamed and broadcast to millions of viewers in Africa and around the world on MTV channels and on the MTV Base Africa YouTube channel.

Kola-Ogunlade said the concert would be hosted by Idris Elba, an English actor and would bring together a star-studded line up including performances from Burna Boy, Sauti Sol, Sho Majozi and Diamond Platinum on YouTube at 7pm on May 25.

‘’Hear Africa – YouTube Music has released a special Africa Day playlist, which takes the love of afrobeat, a bit of house and the soul of Africa to allow you to travel through the continent from your couch.

“The playlist includes some of the most listened to songs on YouTube, featuring sensations like Eddy Kenzo, Lady Zamar, Sauti Sol and Wizkid.

‘’It also takes you back to the sounds of great African voices we have lost, like Fela Kuti, Hugh Masekela and Johnny Clegg,” he said.

According to him, in Explore Africa, Google Arts and Culture has curated a special Africa Day exhibit that features various pieces and collections from all over Africa.

He said this digital exploration of the African continent takes one through 26 collections and 194 stories including the magical world of Nigerian food.

Kola-Ogunlade said in Discover Africa, as one listens to the sounds of Africa through YouTube, and explores its culture with Google Arts and Culture one could head over to Google Search to learn more about the wonderfully diverse and colourful place called home.

He said one could ask Google about the true origin of jollof rice, learn about the national dish of Ethiopia or find out how far the Sahara stretched.

Edited By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Science & Technology

Lockdown: Google highlights 15 tourist attractions for kids, adults



Google Maps on Monday highlighted 15 favourite tourist attractions on street views that people can visit while at home and get the same experience as visiting the places.

Mr Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Communication Officer, Google, West Africa, in a statement in Lagos said the sites offered wonderful and colourful places for people to learn and explore.

Kola-Ogunlade said that when Google Maps turned 15 in February, the Street View team published a list 15 favourite Street Views to celebrate.

He said that the views created similar experiences as visiting the place.

He identified Yosemite’s El Capitan as one of the tourist attractions, saying that with a famous climber, one could go on mountaineering on “Go mountaineering in Yosemite” without taking a 3,000-foot climb up El Capitan.

Kola-Ogunlade said the other is “Float through the International Space Station in Space View”.

‘’All but one of our Street View Image Collections have something in common: – gravity but with the right stuff and collaboration with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), we were able to overcome unique obstacles to bringing everyone a taste of what it is like to be an astronaut,” he said.

He said that with Horse Around with Us at Mongolia’s Lake Khovsgol Ice Festival, one could spend a bone-chilling winter in Mongolia by going outside and having a festival on an ancient frozen lake.

Kola-Ogunlade said Google took Street View to the party and hopped on a horse-drawn sleigh for the sweetest of rides across a glacial playground.

“We partnered with world-renowned alpine photographers, skiers, mountaineers, climbers and runners to collect the Street View of Western Europe’s highest peak so that one can run on a summit, ice climb up a serac and ski knee-deep.

“Other google tourists’ attractions are Cherry blossom Season, a world famous Bathe in La Sagrada, Stroll through the Majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, drift with the Ilulissat Icefjord in Greenland.

“Also included are “Cruise through the Amazon’’, “Visit the Floating Homes of the Uros in Lake Titicaca”, “Take in the Eiffel Tower” and “Gaze up at the Northern Lights and Meander through Machu Picchu,’’ he said.

Kola-Ogunlade said that the places were tourist attractions for kids as well as for adults during the lockdown.

Edited By: Chidi Opara/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Food, Abba Kyari dominate Google search in Nigeria



Google on Monday,  said the trending search term on Google Nigeria over the past 30 days had been ‘how to make bread?’, followed by ‘who is Abba Ky, Aari?’.

Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade,  Google communication Officer, West Africa, in a statement,  said the top 20 trending questions on Google Search Nigeria over the last 30 days were dominated by food and current affairs questions.

Kola-Ogunlade said that Nigeria like many other nations, had implemented lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said that forced to stay at home, and often unable to perform their usual work, many people across the globe, including Nigerians, turned to cooking and baking as ways to pass the time.

The communication officer said it kept people  fed in the absence of restaurants and other vendors.

According to him, Nigerians are also asking about information related to the lockdown and coronavirus, as well as more general current affairs topics.

‘The top ten trending questions over the past 30 days were,  ‘Who is Abba Kyari, how to prepare hand sanitisers, Where is Buhari, when is school resuming in Nigeria?

“Other searches  were, how to draw, Is there movement in Lagos tomorrow, When is WEAC starting, When is Ramadan 2020 starting? Is there a cure for Coronavirus and how to lose weight.

“While top ten trending food questions over the past 30 days were how to make bread, how to make pancakes with flour, how to make chinchin, how to make fish roll.’

‘Others included,  how to make egg roll, how to make pizza, how to prepare vegetable soup, how to make cookies, how to make Akara, how to make Egusi soup,” he said.

According to him, search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what Nigerians have been searching for and asking Google.

He said that Google processed more than 40 000 search queries every second which translated to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year, worldwide.

Kola-Ogunlade said that live search data was available on the NG” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” data-saferedirecturl=””>Google Nigeria Trends site.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Government had lockdown Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory for 30 days in the bid to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID 19).

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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Google announces free video conferencing app



Google Cloud on Wednesday announced it was making Google Meet, its premium video-conferencing solution, free for users and would be rolled out over the coming weeks.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Google Meet is an app used for Video conferencing, which had become the order of the day during the lockdown.

Mr Javier Soltero, Vice President, G suite, said from early May, anyone with an email address could sign up for Meet and enjoy the same features available to G Suite’s business and education users.

Soltero said the features included scheduling and screen sharing, real-time captions, and layouts that adapt to individual preference, including the expanded tiled view.

He said with the lines blurred between work and home, Google Meet would offer the polish needed for a work meeting, a tiled view for online birthday party and the security needed for a video call with a doctor.

According to him, Google has invested years in making Meet a secure and reliable video conferencing solution that is trusted by schools, governments and enterprises around the world.

”Google in recent months has accelerated the release of top-requested features to make it even more helpful.

”Whether it’s hospitals supporting patients via telehealth, banks working with loan applicants, retailers assisting customers remotely, or manufacturers interacting safely with warehouse technicians, businesses across every industry are using Meet to stay connected.

”Starting next week, Google will be gradually expanding Meet’s availability to more and more people over the following weeks.

”While users may not be able to create meetings at right away, they can sign up to be notified when it’s available,” he said in a statement.

According to him, there are a few ways individuals, teams and organisations can use Meet for free.

He said for individual users, once the roll out was complete, anyone with an email address would be able to use Meet for free via and the Meet mobile apps for iOS or Android.

Soltero said Meet could be used to schedule, join or start secure video meetings with anyone – whether it’s a virtual yoga class, weekly book club, neighborhood meeting, or any other reason to connect with others.

The VP said using the new Meet experience would require a free Google Account, which only took a minute to create, using work or personal email address.

He said the step was required as a security measure, and a user would only needed to sign up once with meetings limited to 60 minutes for the free product, though the time limit would be enforced after September 30.

According to him, for organisations that are already G Suite customers, there is a new edition called G Suite Essentials, which also included Google Drive for easy and secure access to all of a team’s content, and Docs, Sheets and Slides for content creation and real-time collaboration.

The VP said it was perfect for teams that needed access to Meet’s more advanced features, such as dial-in phone numbers, larger meetings and meeting recording.

”Through Sept. 30, we’re providing G Suite Essentials and all of these advanced features free of charge,” he said.

He said others that could benefit from the Google Meet included, schools and higher education institutions, through G suite for education.

He said it was a suite of free Google apps tailored specifically for schools, which served over 120 million teachers and students globally for high quality virtual classes and PTA meetings.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Science & Technology

Lockdown: Google lists steps toward effective video conferencing  



Google on Monday proffered six best ways to enjoy video conferencing with friends and colleagues while on COVID-19-induced lockdown.

In a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria , Mr Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, West Africa Communication Officer, Google, said that Nigerians have had a rapid transition to working from home.

Kola-Ogunlade said this could be a daunting task if one was not familiar with tools like video conferencing.

He said that Google had compiled six tips to help one make video conferencing experience easy and successful.

Kola-Ogunlade said the steps include choosing the right environment to make the video calls; as video calls were more efficient than chat or email, especially when talking about a complex issue or brainstorming on ideas.

”It also allows you to connect with teammates in different time zones across the world.

”When on a video call, ensure that the backdrop is plain and consistent; choose a plain wall and avoid windows that will provide too much backlight.

”While on the call, if you are using a laptop, make sure that it is placed somewhere steady,’’ he said.

The communication officer said one could also invite anyone anytime, saying that video conferencing did not have to be scheduled.

Kola-Ogunlade said that if one was in the middle of a too-long email conversation, one could instantly set up a meeting and invite people within or outside to join.

According to him, Hangouts Meet automatically creates international dial-in codes; so people can call on the phone from anywhere and you can invite people via a Calendar event, by email or by phone.

He said that if one could not hear, there was a Turn on captions which allowed you to hear and in a loud place or where there was no super-fancy headphones.

Kola-Ogunlade said that one could also use Meet’s live caption feature to display captions in real time just like closed captions on television.

He, however, encouraged that one should be real while video conferencing, as everyone had a life outside of work.

According to him, depending on the culture of your workplace, it can be alright to show a little bit of the “real” life around you.

“Like letting your kid wave to the camera or eating your lunch if you’ve been on non-stop calls all day.

‘“Showing a little bit of your life could foster deeper connections with co-workers and even create empathy for whatever you are dealing with outside of work,” he said.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)



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Science & Technology

Google proposes five channels for home fitness



Google on Monday proposed  five channels to help gym, a home fitness routine, so as not miss out of regular work out during the lockdown.

Mr Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Communication Officer, West Africa said in Lagos that it was easy to start missing out on regular routine being cooped up at home and looking after kids.

Kola-Ogunlade in a statement noted that turning a gym routine into a home routine is not as hard as one might think.

He said that the YouTube channels were good places to start looking for work out and stretches to keep one fit and fabulous.

According to him, the five channels were Six pack factory, Forbes, Renow Health or The Mayo Clinic, Popsugar Fitness, Littlesport and MadFit.

”Six Pack Factory has a wealth of home routine one can try out in just 15 minutes to burn body fat.

 ”YouTuber Peter Carvell also offers diet and motivational tips to help you stay on track and work towards your fitness goals.

”Do it at your desk – if you’re not used to working at home, your setup can be less than ideal – resulting in a sore neck, shoulders and back.

“Check out these easy routines from Forbes, Renown Health or The Mayo Clinic to help keep you in tip-top shape,” Kola-Ogunlade said in a statement.

He also said that Go to class if one prefer to follow a fitness class, POPSUGAR Fitness was just what one needed.

Kola-Ogunlade said that PopSugar offers a variety of different workouts, from 10-minute stretch classes to 15-minute calorie burning workouts and more.

According to him, Kid around – get the kids involved in your daily routine and make it fun for the whole family.

Little Sports is a channel devoted to providing workouts tailored specifically for kids, including many that can be done indoors

He said that Get intense for those who like their fitness at high intensity, MadFit has a wide variety of at-home, no-equipment high-intensity workouts.

The Communication Officer said from upper body to full body, and attack or a good morning stretch – MadFit has it covered.

Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)

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France orders Google to negotiate payments for news site previews



France’s competition authority said on Thursday that it has ordered Google to negotiate fee payments with French news sites for displaying previews of their articles.

The ruling is an interim measure pending full examination of a complaint by French press groups about how the internet giant has implemented EU copyright rules that came into effect in France in 2019.

The U.S.-based search engine provider decided to stop showing previews for news articles in French search results unless the news providers consented to their use without a fee.

Fearing the loss of traffic from search results, many publishers agreed.

France’s Autorite de la Concurrence said Google may have abused its dominant position by imposing unfair negotiating conditions and frustrating the purpose of the new rules, which was to give news publishers more of the value created by their content.

Google must now negotiate in good faith with any publishers who so wish and agree payment for previews of their content, the authority ruled.

The search engine must continue to show previews for the moment, and any payment agreed will be retroactive, covering the period since the rules came into effect on Oct. 24.

“Since the European Copyright law came into force in France last year, we have been engaging with publishers to increase our support and investment in news,” Google said in response to the ruling.

“We will comply with the FCA’s order while we review it and continue those negotiations,’’ the company added.

Edited By: Halima Sheji/Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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Nigerian startup, mDoc selected for Google’s Startups Accelerator on SDGs



Google on Wednesday, announced that Nigerian startup `mDoc’ was one of 11 startups selected to participate in the fully digital inaugural Google for startups Accelerator on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Yossi Matias, Google’s Vice President, Engineering, said in a statement, that the 11 were selected based on their vision to address challenges outlined in the UN’s SDGs.

Matias said the SDGs included poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice.

He said that Nigerian startup `mDoc’ used a digital platform and in-person hubs to support people living with chronic diseases and would join the programme on April 21.

The Nigerian startup would join the programme alongside startups from France, Germany (2) Israel, the Netherlands, Kenya (2) Pakistan and the UK (2).

According to him, the chosen startups will address a wide range of social and environmental challenges and are working to create a healthier and a more sustainable future for all.

“In order to keep the programme safe and accessible in the light of COVID-19, the first two on-site events will now be digital.

”Virtual training will cover topics such as creating Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), UX Research & Behavioural Economics, ML Data Pipelines and Data Visualisation and Strategies for Social Impact Fundraising.

”The five-month programme kicks off on April 21 and a second cohort will be selected later in the year,” Matias said.

According to him, around the world, there are more startups addressing the world’s most pressing social challenges.

The vice president said that technology could help address some of the world’s biggest challenges, from empowering others to use AI to address social challenges, to setting ambitious and long-term environmental sustainability goals.

Matias said when businesses and investors worked together with the government, non-profits, communities and individuals, we could make real progress.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Google announced its Startups Accelerator on SDGs in November 2019.

The goal of the programme was to help founders build technology to solve serious issues facing the world.

The winners were selected from almost 1,200 applications received from 73 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and with the assistance of an external jury to carefully evaluate each idea.

Each startup would work closely with engineers from over 20 Google teams as well as other subject matter experts, to address product, engineering, business development and funding challenges

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi


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