Kenyans to benefit from revamped largest digital networking platform in Africa

The Tony Elumelu Foundation and Google launched the first ever fellowship of its kind

Tony Elumelu with Google.org Fellows

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and Google launched the inaugural Google.org Fellowship to enable one million more Africans with access to TEFConnect.

TEF Connect is the continent’s largest digital networking platform and home to over one million African entrepreneurs.

The inaugural Google.org Fellowship is part of the foundation's aim to inspire young African entrepreneurs from all over Africa.

The announcement was made during an event held at the Foundation's headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria, which was attended by several African political and business leaders.

The Foundation will work with nine full-time Google workers, including software engineers, UI/UX researchers, and policy experts, to develop and create an updated version of the TEFConnect platform.

Before the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, my water company suffered financial setbacks. Since TEF support, I have purchased new machines and impact more communities to ease the water purification process.

I deliver clean water to villages that lack access to clean water at an affordable price. The Tony Elumelu Foundation Grant was a dream come true for me and a great opportunity. More people should partake, this is the most innovative platform in Africa,” said TEF Beneficiary, Lungile Marhungane who is the CEO of Jesu Puro Water.

So far, TEF has given more than $85 million (Sh9,729,950,000) in seed money to help small businesses thrive across Africa.

This fellowship builds on Google.org's initial $3 million award to assist the 2021 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme by empowering 500 more African women to start or develop their enterprises.

We are pleased to continue to share our unique ability and platform to identify, train, mentor and fund young entrepreneurs across Africa with like-minded institutions like Google.org who share in our commitment to empower young African entrepreneurs,” said co-Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Dr. Awele V. Elumelu.

He expressed excitement in continueing to provide a space for growth, personal development, and meaningful exchange for African entrepreneurs.

"We are delighted to kick off our first Google.org Fellowship in Africa. The Tony Elumelu Foundation does so much to empower African entrepreneurs, and we are thrilled to be able to lend the expertise of Googlers to expand the reach of the TEFConnect platform to an additional 1 million entrepreneurs.

"Google's commitment in Africa has progressed from sponsoring projects to collaborative partnerships with established African organisations like the Tony Elumelu Foundation, dedicated to developing young African talent.

As Africa's digital economy grows, African entrepreneurs are in a prime position to establish a powerful digital footprint, and this fellowship is one step closer to transforming the landscape,” added Jen Carter, global head of technology at Google.org.

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