Google announces 11 African Startups for AI First programme

Google on Thursday announced 11 African startups for the first cohort of its “Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First” programme. The Head of Startup Ecosystem, Africa, Folarin Aiyegbusi, said in a statement that the 11 startups were picked from a vast pool of innovative talents using cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI). He said that these start-ups used cutting edge AI to address Africa’s challenges and broader global issues. Aiyegbusi said that the 11 selected startups would undergo a 10-week accelerator journey, beyond benefiting from Google’s AI expertise and a $350,000 allocation in Google Cloud Credits. He said that the startups would benefit from mentorship sessions, technical guidance, and networking opportunities to enhance their reach and impact.
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“Google has been working on AI for over a decade, and has shown how useful AI is in our products and for developers. “AI is not only a powerful enabler, it is also a major platform shift. Which is why Google is focused on making it easy and scalable for others to innovate with AI. ‘”Our chosen startups for the ‘AI First’ programme embody this vision, leveraging AI in pioneering ways to address both local and global challenges. “The transformative power of AI in Africa is highlighted by a McKinsey report which suggests that AI could add $1.3 trillion to Africa’s Gross Domestic Product by 2030,’’ he said.
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According to him, since 2017, Google has consistently supported African startups across diverse programmes. He said that collectively, these startups had raised $263 million and created over 2,800 job opportunities. Speaking on the selection, Adeola Ayoola, Co-founder, Famasi Africa, Nigeria, one of the selected start-ups, said that Famasi Africa was scaling AI-powered digital health solutions to reach more underserved communities. Ayoola said that joining the Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First programme represented a significant step towards realising that dream.
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‘’With Google’s mentorship, we are confident of scaling our solutions, reaching more pharmacies, and ultimately improving healthcare outcomes.” Co-founder, Dial Afrika, Kenya, Japheth Dibo, said that Dial Afrika was revolutionising customer support in Africa with cutting-edge AI-powered solutions. Dibo said that being selected for the Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First programme would allow the startup leverage advanced AI technology to make its vision a reality. “With this support and mentorship, we aim to revolutionise customer support and equip businesses across the African continent with the tools to thrive and excel,” he said. The selected startups include Avalon Health, South  Africa; Chatbots Africa, Ghana; Dial Afrika Inc, Kenya; Famasi Africa, Nigeria; Fastagger Inc, Kenya; Garri Logistics, Ethiopia; Lengo AI, Senegala and Izifin, Nigeria among others. (NAN)

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