Google announces ‘AI first Accelerator Program’ for African Startups

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Google on Tuesday unveiled the “Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First”, an initiative aimed at supporting African startups looking to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to solve local challenges. Folarin Aiyegbusi, Head, Startup Ecosystem, Africa said in a statement that this program recognises the transformative  role that AI is playing across the world, innovating industries and reimagining the realms of possibilities. Aiyegbusi said that it also highlights the significant contributions of African startups in addressing some of the region’s most pressing challenges through the use of AI. ‘’Africa’s tech landscape is vibrant and ever-evolving, it is inspiring to see African startups not only harnessing AI to address our unique challenges but also setting benchmarks for the world.
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‘’AI First’ is more than a program; 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. ‘’This program recognises the transformative  role that AI is playing across the world, innovating industries and reimagining the realms of possibilities,’’ he said. According to him, It also highlights the significant contributions of African startups in addressing some of the region’s most pressing challenges through the use of AI.
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He said that the ‘AI First’ program is aimed at supporting  startups keen on delving into AI’s possibilities. Aiyegbusi  said that it draws learnings from past initiatives such as the Google for Startups Accelerator: Africa, the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund. Other include  the Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders, the primary aspiration remains consistent: to support and highlight African-driven solutions. The head,  said that the participants would benefit from access to Google’s AI expertise, technical resources including up to  $350000 Google Cloud Credits, mentorship from seasoned AI professionals, and invaluable networking opportunities.
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Aiyegbusi said that since inception in 2018, the Google for Startups Accelerator: Africa program has supported 106 startups from 17 African countries. He  said that Collectively, these startups have raised over $263 million in funding and created over 2,800 direct job opportunities in the region. Aiyegbusi said that 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. He said that Startups couldb  apply by Sept. r more details and to submit applications, please visit g.co/acceleratorafrica. (NAN)

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