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Google Technology User Groups: the LUG’s of Tomorrow

By Wayan Vota on June 2, 2010

Google is naturally excited about the voluntary formation of Google Technology User Groups across Africa – communities of software developers and Google users sharing ideas about improving their businesses with Google applications.

In a recent post, they now count ten chapters in eight countries including groups in Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Egypt, Kenya, Uganda and Senegal. While it might be harder to count how GTUG’s impact Google’s bottom line, I can count their impact on the African technology community.

Bye, bye LUG’s, hello GTUG’s

Do you remember going to a Linux User Group meeting and being inspired by the excitement and promise in the room? That’s how I felt at the Linux Users Group of Accra meeting back in 2005. Like I was in the presence of Africa’s future.

Now LUG’s are dying off as their members find other passions and professions. This isn’t a bad thing – often it means that Linux usage has transcended from a small club of users to the general ICT ecosystem and so LUG’s succeeded. Their current incarnation? GTUG’s.

Google has the buzz, the ubiquity, and most importantly, the open API’s that are allowing developers and businesses to innovate with their technologies. It also helps that they have in-country presence in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. With that base, GTUG’s are a natural progression and a welcomed sign of ecosystem maturity.

So what are you doing just sitting there? Join a GTUG today and do your part to continue code culture.


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Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of his employer, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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