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Google launches expert advice service “Baraza” for Africa

Published by on Oct 25th, 2010, No Comments

Looks like those SA offices of Google are starting to develop some real African-relevant products:

What’s the best hotel with beach access in Cape Town? What’s the best butchery in Jozi?  Ever had a local question with no one to pose it to? Internet users in South Africa can now turn to each other for expert advice on almost any topic, using Google Baraza. Baraza, which means ‘taskforce’ or ‘council’ in Swahili, is a new question and answer service launching across Africa that will also be integrated into search results on Google Search.

Experts in any field, be it food, tourism or fashion, can log on today and start providing advice. Users can create profiles, send messages, follow others, rate answers and receive points for asking and answering.

“We want to make the Internet more relevant for our local users. South Africans ask Google a huge number of questions every day; however, many of these answers remain unanswered, due to the lack of local content online. We recognise that users are the best at answering each other’s questions within a community, and Baraza is the perfect way to share and contribute information”, says Julie Taylor, Communications Manager for Sub Saharan Africa.

Prof. Rina Swart, will be available on Baraza to answer nutrition and diet related questions.  “It is great to be part of such a dynamic project,” says Prof. Swart. “I look forward to seeing what aspects of daily nutrition South Africans are curious about.”  The charismatic Lebo Mzwimbi, former Pop Idols Africa, and current Studio 53 presenter, will share his knowledge of music and the entertainment scene. “Baraza provides the perfect platform for South Africans to engage with each other,” notes Lebo. ‘“Truly South African advice can’t beaten – local is truly ‘lekker’.”

To start contributing to Baraza, google.co.za/baraza

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