Google To Empower Tech Start-Ups In Nigeria, Kenya, Others



Google has concluded plans to empower tech start-ups in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and others with two scholarship programmes; developer scholarships and Launchpad Accelerator.

During a media parley held in Lagos recently, Google Country Director, Nigeria, Mrs. Juliet Ehimuan disclosed that about 115,000 developers will be benefiting from the scheme christened “The African Scholarship programme” as part of support to developers across the continent”.

“We are announcing the Africa Scholarships programme, a digital skills initiative targeted to train 100,000 developers,” she stated.

“We will also be giving scholarships to 15,000 aspiring developers with training partnership from Udacity and Andela.”

Speaking further she said, “The scholarship will include 500 full nanodegree courses on Udacity and other intensive training programmes to help improve the opportunities within the developer ecosystem in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.”

Meanwhile, about 12 early stage developers from six Sub-Saharan countries including Nigeria are currently undertaking a three-month intensive mentorship and training programme tagged ‘Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme’ in Lagos.

Beyond the extensive digital skills training, the participating tech companies drawn from six countries namely, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda will, according to the Ehimuan, partake of “the $3 million budgeted for equity-free seed funding.”

“And over the next three years the Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme will provide African start-ups with over $3 million in equity-free support, working space, Silicon Valley and Africa. Participants will also receive travel and PR support during the three months programme,” she said.

To qualify for the scholarship schemes and the Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme, Mr. Fola Olatunji Daniel, the Head, Start-up Success and Services, said that applicants must only be accepted from professional and aspiring developers who are based in Sub-Saharan Africa, targeting the African market and have already raised seed funding.

“For instance, Google will consider the problem a start-up is trying to solve, how it creates value for users and how they address real challenges for their home city, country or for Africa broadly before accepting a participant into the scheme,” he said.


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