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Ripples Nigeria Wins Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge, To Launch Historic Project

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Ripples Nigeria has bagged Google’s international award for innovation in its bid to create a historic project for Nigeria.

Ripples Nigeria was Tuesday announced as one of the winners of the Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

Ripples Nigeria’s Eco-Nai+, a geo-data and geo-journalism project that will lead to the creation of Nigeria’s first interactive digital geo-journalism platform, was selected for funding.

Overall, there were “22 news innovators” from across the Middle East, Turkey and Africa emerging from the highly competitive innovation challenge.

This development is coming barely weeks to the Geo Journalism-focused 2021 edition of the annual Data Journalism Masterclass hosted by Ripples Nigeria’s non-profit sister organisation— Ripples Centre for Data and Investigative Journalism (RCDIJ).

Speaking on the development, Samuel Ibemere, Editor-in-Chief of Ripples Nigeria, said “We are excited about our emergence as one of the recipients of the GNI Innovation Challenge funding in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. It is a huge honour

“As a platform long committed to innovation, we are especially excited to be winning such a highly reputed international award on innovation. We have always believed that the news ecosystem can only transition to the next phase of its development through innovation and technology. To this cause we have committed enormous resources towards the disruption of the media space in Africa.

“We are equally excited that another major area of our commitment— the environment— will be the target of our deployment of media innovation. Our grand vision for Eco-Nai+ includes the creation of a far-reaching geo-journalism ecosystem for Africa that will feature Nigeria’s first digital geo-journalism platform and an Africa-focused geo-journalism hub.

“We want to become Africa’s leading innovative media platform driving efforts towards combating climate change, protecting the environment, and connecting far-flung communities in active collaboration along the way.

“We are unfazed by this challenge. In our 5-year existence, we have been able to conceptualise, launch and sustain hundreds of projects, impacting communities and winning awards. In partnership with our non-profit sister arm— Ripples Centre for Data and Investigative Journalism (RCDIJ)— we have continued to create and deploy wide-ranging projects that have benefited media organisations and practitioners across the continent, and helped improve the very practice of media itself. Our work, especially around investigative and data journalism, has also brought government and powerful private sector players to account, leading to responsive action.

“I want to sincerely thank Google and the entire team at the GNI Innovation Challenge for providing Ripples Nigeria with an even bigger opportunity to drive change.

“I also want to thank my entire team for making this possible. Together, we will continue to redefine the practice of media in Africa!”

For Nigeria, Ripples Nigeria received the award alongside two other media outfits— Naij. com and Stears News Limited.

Google’s official announcement titled “22 news innovators from the Middle East, Turkey and Africa”, can be found here