Google Awards $5 Million in Technology Grants

The Google Charitable Giving Fund has announced five grants totaling $5 million, including $1.25 million to the Nelson Mandela Center of Memory, which is housed at the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

The grant to the Mandela Center will be used to expand the center's online multimedia archive and make it available to a broader audience. The expanded archive will include Mandela's letters and correspondence with family and friends, his prison diaries, and notes he wrote in the period leading up to the end of apartheid in South Africa, among other items. The fund also awarded $1.25 million to the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre in Cape Town to digitize Tutu's archives and create an interactive digital learning center.

In addition, grants were awarded to three organizations working to boost use of the Internet in South Africa and the rest of the continent. Recipients include the Network Startup Resource Center at the University of Oregon, which will receive $1.25 million to help more people get access to the Internet; the Tertiary Education and Research Network of South Africa, which was awarded $750,000 to continue providing South African universities with Internet and information technology services; and the Nigeria ICT Forum, which will receive $500,000 to support efforts to boost access to the Internet among tertiary education institutions in Nigeria.

"Google wants to help bring the world's historical heritage online," said Luke Mckend, country manager for Google South Africa, "and the Internet offers new ways to preserve and share this information."