Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Tanzanian girl among semi-finalists in google competition




 Gloria Mangi.PHOTO|FILE


Dar es Salaam. Tanzania’s Gloria Mangi has been named among 20 semi-finalists in Google’s Africa Connected competition launched last August.
The initiative aims at gathering the largest collection of inspiring stories about ventures established online by Africans, in Africa.
In June, last year, Ms Mangi launched African Queens Project, a website to promote her community’s improvement, which celebrates African women who are significant activities that give back to their communities. The site -- africanqueensproject.com -- shares successful stories via blog posts, audio clips and videos.
The young Tanzanian and the 19 other semi-finalists were picked from over 2,200 entries across 35 countries on the continent.
Speaking to this reporter, Ms Mangi said: “It is like I’m watching a movie only that this time I’m in it and it is really happening,” she said laughing.
“The list has more Kenyans, South Africans and Nigerians. It would be great to have more Tanzanians. I know there are many creative innovators in this country,” she said.
The 25-year-old who works with Maanisha! -- an organisation that seeks to impact change through education and entertainment -- received an award for the same project in August 2013.
African Queens Project was nominated in the category of power of women as contributing in developing UN goals. Ms Mangi is also a Smart 29er – a network of young Tanzanians working with the government to create dialogue on issues hindering country’s development.
From the 20 semi-finalists -- including five Kenyans, six South Africans, three Nigerians, two Ghanaians, and one each from Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe -- will be chosen top five.
Google Lead for Africa Connected Affiong Osuchukwu said the five winners will each receive $25,000 (about Sh40 million) and will also have the opportunity to work with a Google mentor over a period of six months.
The competition attracted entries that demonstrated how people successfully and in an extra-ordinary way use the web and technology to overcome challenges in their communities.
“Selecting the 20 semi-finalists was tough, but we were really impressed with their initiatives,” said Ms Osuchukwu. A judging panel, made up of Google officials and external judges, will now determine the 10 finalists.