Google gets Ghana business online

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana

Google Ghana has launched “Africa Get Your Business Online”, an initiative aimed at bringing thousand of small medium scale enterprises online over the next year.

The launch was followed by the unveiling of a Google website clinic, where participants were trained on how to build websites for their business. Businesses across Ghana will have the opportunity to create their own websites and develop online presences for free.

The initiative is expected to transform the Ghanaian SME landscape and contribute to the country’s economic growth by making it quick, easy and free for businesses to register an online presence, at a time when more and more Ghanaians are accessing the internet.

Speaking at the launch of the project in Accra, Google Ghana Country Manager Estella Akofio Sowah said: “You often hear an entrepreneur or business owner lamenting how hard it is to build an online presence due to the cost involved, unreliability of supplier, simply, their own lack of knowledge about the steps needed to build that online presence.”

She says Google’s service, “Africa Get Your Business Online”, addresses these challenges by helping the SMEs to take the first bold steps towards being online: creating a website, listing themselves  on Google map and setting up a Google+ page.

Akofio Spwah added: “It’s easy and free, and the potential impact for a business is truly exciting. Together with our partners, we plan to help thousands of Ghanaian SMES get online.

In a speech read on behalf of the Deputy Minister of Communications, Ernest Attuquaye Armah by the Director of Policy, Planning and Evaluation at the ministry, Patricia Dovi – Sampson, the Deputy Minister said: "In line with the goals to build a viable digital economy and sustainable information society in Ghana, the Ministry of Communication supports projects and initiatives that help small and medium businesses in Ghana to join the digital revolution.”

Armah encouraged all businesses without an online presence to take advantage of the initiative.

Last week, Kenyan online business directory Mocality alleged that a Kenyan-based Google team had improperly mined the customer database of local directory, and had misled customers.

Google said it was ‘mortified’ and was investigating.

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