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By 25 October 2010 | Categories: news

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Google is addressing the need for local users to relate more closely to its search engine with the release of a new platform for the South African market - 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 will be able to use the service to answer user questions. 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.”  
 
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’.”
 
This marks an interesting development for local Google users. Although Google has not left South Africa in the dark with regards to service delivery (South Africans have comprehensive access to Google Maps, Google Street View and Google Real Time Search), Baraza is the first service of its kind aimed directly at the local market. 

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