American multinational technology company, Google, on Tuesday, January 28, launched a developer hub in Lagos for African tech entrepreneurs.
Similar to the Facebook Hub that launched two years ago in Yaba area of Lagos, the hub idea demostrates Google’s commitment to Nigeria’s startup ecosystem.
Through this initiative, like Facebook; Google can bring together developers, startups, and the wider community to share their ideas, skills, and time.
According to Google, this effort and corporate investment is in line with the company’s vision where it constantly looks for new, creative ways to foster innovation and train new developers, engineers and professionals.
However, analysts who are familiar with the process have questioned the “free” sentiment attached to the description of this newly built Google developer hub in Ikoyi, challenging the headlines and requesting that Google be more explicit on terms.
While Google, like Facebook, will be letting out its space for community usage, its “free” use does not mean any independent developer can storm into the space for a project development, or the hosting of a tech hang out.
Although, the headlines announcing the news may say “free”, in terms and conditions, like the case of the Facebook Hub, a partnering startup must either come under any of the host’s programmes, or organising events that promotes its products or services.
To explain lucidly, this simply means that Microsoft developers (for instance) cannot approach the management to book the space for a planned event or summit.
In the long run, Google, like sister tech companies who build similar structures, is only building facilities to promote growth of their businesses in potential areas around the world. For analysts, to say free is to appear charitable -which is far from the intent behind the launch of this “free” facility.
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