An initiative organized by Google has been launched in Lagos, Nigeria with the aim of training 100,000 tech developers. The initiative, Launchpad Accelerator Africa initiative will also provide scholarships to 15,000 developers in partnership with Udacity and Andela to provide single course scholarships and 500 nanodegree scholarships to young, aspiring developers across Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.
The Country Director of Google Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan, said that the Launchpad Accelerator Africa was announced last year as well as the extension to the Digital Skills for Africa programs to train 10 million Africans over five years in line with the company’s commitment to technology advancement.
The Launchpad Accelerator Africa initiative will over the next three years provides startups in Africa with over $3 million equity-free support, work space and unlimited access to advisers from Google, Silicon Valley and Africa. During each three-moth programme of the initiative, these startups will also receive travel and PR coverage to help in their startups.
Regional Manager of the sub-Saharan Africa Ecosystem, Andy Volk said “We are thrilled to announce this, the first Launchpad Accelerator Africa class and look forward to working with them to drive innovation into the African market. Africa is home to some incredibly smart people who are working to solve the continent’s problems using homegrown solutions and we’re honoured to be able to be part of that.”
In the selection process, Google will consider startups that technology based, located in sub-Sahara Africa, aimed towards improving the African market and already have seeding capital. The problem to be solved, value creation for users and relation to challenges in their home city, country and Arica, are also part of the selection criteria used by Google.
12 tech startups have begun training with selections from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa with Nigeria having five out of the twelve list of startups.