Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Let's meet at Google's Baraza and answer Africa's questions

I received some invites from a couple of people to test out Google's Baraza earlier. Just recently, Google Baraza was launched in different places in Africa. Baraza, which means ‘taskforce’ or ‘council’ in Swahili, is a newly launched question and answer service that will also be integrated into search results on Google Search.

From the earlier notice
One of Google’s goals in Africa is to make the internet more locally relevant and bring more people online. One of the challenges of the internet in Africa is that there is a lack of local content online. At Google, we find that users search for information about local businesses, entertainment, health, etc but often don’t find it because the information is not yet available online. In order to help bring more local content online, Google engineers have created Baraza to allow people in countries across Africa to ask questions and post answers to questions from others.


If you have any questions about Africa, go and ask it through Baraza. If you've been wondering something go find the answer there as well.

To celebrate the launch in Ghana, Joy FM's Wednesday’s Drive Time would feature Executive Director of Databank, Yofi Grant and Estelle Akofio-Sowah, Country Manager of Google Ghana. They'd be in the studio with presenter Bola Ray between 3.30pm and 5pm to share their expertise with the public. Interestingly enough, they were both at Barcamp Accra 2010, an event where many of Google Baraza users were at. Busy Internet is also being reported as going to offer free internet to Baraza users on Wednesday. They provided free internet at Barcamp Accra #bcaccra too. In this effort to increase online local African knowledge, BusyInternet, with three branches in Accra and Tema is opening its doors to Baraza users for free during Drive Time on Joy on Wednesday between 3pm and 6pm.

In the meantime, you can always access www.google.com.gh/baraza from today to start asking questions and receive answers from the public. Local domains of the forum will also be made available in 40 African countries, including Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Kenya and Senegal.

Google is also hosting an exclusive networking event for Ghana’s active blogger community together with the GhanaBlogging group at the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT on Thursday evening.
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