APPLY: Google unveils artificial intelligence programme for African startups


Google says African startups can now apply for its 10-week
equity-free accelerator programme.


In a statement on Tuesday, the tech giant said the
programme, tagged ‘Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First’, is open for


Google said the initiative would support African startups
looking to use artificial intelligence to solve local challenges.


“Applications for the 10-week equity-free accelerator are
now open, inviting startups up to series A stage based in Africa or building
Africa-centric solutions with AI and machine learning,” the statement reads.


 “Participants will benefit
from access to Google’s AI expertise, and technical resources including up to
$350,000 Google Cloud credits, mentorship from seasoned AI professionals, and
invaluable networking opportunities.


“This programme recognises the transformative role that AI
is playing across the world, innovating industries, and reimagining the realms
of possibilities.”


Google said the programme also highlights the significant
contributions of African startups in addressing some of the region’s most
pressing challenges through the use of AI, adding that the primary aspiration
remains to support and “highlight African-driven solutions”.


Commenting on the initiative, Folarin Aiyegbusi, Google’s
head of startup ecosystem, Africa, said, the continent’s tech landscape is
vibrant and ever-evolving.


He said it was inspiring to see African startups not only
harnessing AI to address the continent’s unique challenges but also setting
benchmarks for the world.


“‘AI First’ is more than a programme,” Aiyegbusi said.


“It’s a testament to our belief in the vision of these
startups, ensuring they have the support and guidance they need to realise
their full potential.”


Since its inception in 2018, the Google for Startups
Accelerator Africa programme has supported 106 startups from 17 countries in
the region.


The technology firm said these startups have collectively
raised over $263 million in funding and created over 2,800 direct job
opportunities in the region.


Google said interested startups are advised to apply by
September 6, 2023 and submit applications, via


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