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Announcing the finalists for the 2018 Google Impact Challenge Africa

It’s not every day that you get a chance to make your community a better place. A few months ago, we kicked off the first Google Impact Challenge in NigeriaKenya and South Africa- a competition to find and fund the most innovative nonprofits and social enterprises that are using technology to create economic opportunity in their communities. We were bowled over by the response - more than 5000 nonprofits shared their best ideas with us.

Today, we’re announcing the finalists in the competition, who will all receive a $125,000 grant as well as support and training from Google to implement their ideas. We are also inviting the public to vote on their favourite projects. The people’s choice winner will double their award and win $250,000.

A video announcing the winners of the 2018 Google Impact Challenge Africa

The 36 projects we have selected are all exciting and innovative applications of technology to solve big problems and create economic opportunity at scale. From building an interactive website to enhance public participation and transparency in policing, to developing a mobile information platform that empowers women traders to work safely across East Africa and building disability-friendly Digital Hubs to ensure persons with disabilities have access to ICT skills: All these are bold ideas that highlight both Africa’s talent for innovation and our culture of helping others.

The Finalists


  1. Creatives Garage: Kalabars - A platform that seeks to address issues that stifle the creative industry in Kenya. Creatives Garage focuses on African content, and wants African stories to be told in an African context
  2. M-Shule: A personalised learning platform that combines AI with SMS to transform primary school education for students across Africa.
  3. AfriScout—A PCI Social Enterprise: Revolutionising the way pastoralists make migration decisions using the power of satellite and mobile technology.
  4. GiveDirectly Kenya: Giving unconditional cash grants to hundreds of young people living in Nairobi’s urban informal settlements to support entrepreneurship.
  5. Sauti East Africa: A mobile information platform empowering women cross-border traders to work safely, legally and profitably across East Africa.
  6. UjuziKilimo Solutions: Sensors and Big Data analytics for small holder precision farming.
  7. Global Minimum InLab: Innovation Labs to empower vulnerable Kenyan youth.
  8. Lewa Wildlife Conservancy: A digital literacy programme to provide fair access to quality education to children and youth in marginalised communities.
  9. Startup Lions: A home for Africa’s rural youth to learn, earn and innovate.
  10. NairoBits Trust: Tech for Empowerment: Leveraging on technology to transform lives.
  11. African Prisons Project: Enhancing access to justice and economic empowerment.
  12. The Somo Project: Empowering entrepreneurs to create change in their underserved communities.


  1. Rural Development and Reformation Foundation (RUDERF): OLEJU economically empowers females to become skilled artisans, utilizing creative recycling technology as a major tool.
  2. BudgIT Foundation: Raising a community of active citizens that tracks and monitors government projects in their community to ensure quality service delivery.
  3. The Roothub Tech 101: A training programme to equip disadvantaged youths in rural areas of Nigeria with digital skills.
  4. HelpMum: Using low-cost innovations and the power of mobile technology to tackle maternal and infant mortality in underserved and remote areas in Nigeria.
  5. Vetsark: Data science technology to protect crops and livestock from pests and diseases.
  6. Solar Sister Nigeria: Empowering women entrepreneurs from underserved communities to build clean energy businesses.
  7. The Cece Yara Foundation: Project Safe Access - Providing a safe platform for free access to healing and justice, for children experiencing sexual abuse in Nigeria.
  8. LearnFactory Nigeria: EmBED (Education made Beautiful, Engaging & Delightful): making education accessible, affordable, engaging and delightful for all kids through technology and borderless classrooms.
  9. Junior Achievement Nigeria: Entrepreneurship and digital skills training for secondary school students to create 10,000 young digital entrepreneurs by 2025.
  10. Project Enable Africa: Disability-friendly Digital Hubs to promote the access of persons with disabilities and their caregivers to ICT skills and opportunities.
  11. Bunmi Adedayo Foundation (BAF): Continuous in-service training for public primary school teachers.
  12. Seed Tracker - IITA: Seed Tracker is a digital app to enhance quality seed production and access to seed markets.

South Africa

  1. Clothes to Good: Helping mothers of children with disabilities to find financial independence in a green eco-system via clothing recycling.
  2. Corruption Watch: BUA MZANSI: An online interactive website to enhance public participation and transparency in policing.
  3. Gradesmatch: A platform to serve as a comprehensive career guide.
  4. GreenFingers Mobile: A digital solution to enable small and emerging farmers to access the market.
  5. hearX Group: Ears and Eyes for Education (3E) - a mHealth supported community-based programme.
  6. Memeza Shout Crime Prevention: Bringing safety to vulnerable people through a Public Community Alarm System.
  7. mLab CodeUp!: Matching coders to community startups to build prototypes and gain practical work experience.
  8. Quirky 30 NPC:Coding a New Future.
  9. RLabs (Zlto Digital Platform): A mobile and blockchain platform that tracks and incentivises positive behaviour in youths.
  10. Saide’s African Storybook initiative: An offline app to create and publish illustrated digital African storybooks with young children.
  11. The MakerSpace Foundation: The MakerSpace offers tools, technology, training and physical work space to enable people to make things that improve the world around them.
  12. The Youth Employment Service: A business-driven collaboration with government that offers a disruptive approach to South Africa's youth unemployment challenge.

And now it’s YOUR turn to have a say. Head over to the Nigeria voting site , Kenya voting site and South Africa voting site to learn more about the finalists in each of the countries, and to vote for the projects that you care about most. Voting opens today and you have until November 27 to select your favourite projects. In addition to the People's Choice Winner, our expert panel of Judges will select three additional winners after a live pitching session on November 28. These winners will also receive $250,000 in funding

We created the Google Impact Challenge because we truly believe that technology has the power to transform lives. Together, let’s empower Africans to drive community impact.