Google has reaffirmed its contribution to Africa’s startup ecosystem, announcing the announcement of new developer scholarships in collaboration with Pluralsight and Andela, as well as the opening of applications for the 6th Class of the Google for Startups Accelerator program.
The announcements were made at a virtual event organized by Google, which included key industry players, policymakers, startup executives, and investors who are moving Africa’s tech ecosystem forward.
They looked at the possibilities that are emerging through the internet economy, with a focus on developer and startup funding in the region.
Applications for the Google for Startups Accelerator’s 6th Cohort, a three-month program starting on June 21, 2021, will be accepted until May 14. Applications are being accepted from 17 African nations, including Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Senegal, for the online curriculum, which comprises three rigorous virtual training boot camps, mentorship, and Google product support.
South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe are among the countries represented. The goal is to help startups expand during critical stages of development.
Android, Web, and Google Cloud scholarships are available to beginner and advanced developers in Africa through Google’s latest developer scholarships.
Developers will be eligible for a total of 40,000 grants, which will be distributed through the Mobile and Cloud growth tracks. At the conclusion of the training, the top 1,000 students will receive a full scholarship to pursue certification in Android or Cloud development.
“Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first virtual class of Google for Startups Accelerator Africa was launched. It was the first all-online iteration of Google’s accelerator program for Africa and saw 20 startups from seven countries undergo a 12-week virtual journey to redefine their offering while receiving mentoring and attending workshops.
This year, with the 6th cohort, we want to continue to play our part by supporting developers and startups within the Africa tech ecosystem, ensuring they get all the access and support necessary to see them continue to grow,” says Onajite Emerhor, Head of Google for Startups Accelerator Africa.
The African startup ecosystem is a core driver of the continent’s economic development, with the continent’s tech sector seeing a large increase in startup success stories.
According to the Africa Internet Economy 2020 forecast, funded by Google and the International Finance Corporation, Africa’s Internet economy is expected to develop at a rate of 5.25 percent over the next five years. According to the survey, COVID-19’s headwinds would not stop the development of Africa’s internet economy, which is expected to add approximately $189 billion to the continent’s GDP by 2025 and $712 billion by 2050.
“The growth of entrepreneurship is crucial, especially in the African context. African developers and startups play a critical role in the transformation of the African economy, creating new opportunities and paving the way for the economic and social development on the continent that we want to see.
We recognise Africa’s exceptional digital potential, and that is why Google is committed to providing this critical support for African startups,” says Nitin Gajria, Managing Director of Google Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Google for Startups Accelerator Africa provides access to the best of Google – its people, networks, and emerging technologies – to early-stage startups in Africa.
Via immersive workshops and labs led by Google experts and mentors, the accelerator educates participating startups on technology (AI/ML, Cloud, Android, Firebase), product, data, market, architecture, people, development, and fundraising.
Through Google Developer Groups, Developer Student Clubs, and Women Techmakers, Google continues to support developer communities across Sub-Saharan Africa, providing training and support for developers that is aligned with real-world job competency requirements.
Research Jams, which are study groups led by developers for developers, are a common activity among community groups. In Sub-Saharan Africa, there are currently more than 120 active developer groups spread across 25 countries.