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DURBAN – GOOGLE yesterday announced the opening of applications for the Sixth Class of the Google for Start-ups Accelerator programme, and the launch of 40 000 developer scholarships in partnership with Pluralsight and Andela as the tech giant emphasised that the growth of African entrepreneurship played a critical role in the transformation of the African economy.
Managing director of Google Sub-Saharan Africa Nitin Gajria said Africa had exceptional digital potential, hence Google was committed to providing critical support for African start- ups.
For Google’s new developer scholarships, Android, Web and Google Cloud scholarships were being offered to beginner and intermediate developers resident in Africa. A total of 40 000 scholarships would be offered to developers, spread across Mobile and Cloud development tracks. The top 1 000 students at the end of the training would earn a full scholarship to certify on Android or Cloud development.
Applications for Google’s accelerator programme, a three-month programme was slated to start on June 21 and were open until May 14. The online programme, which included three intensive virtual training boot-camps, mentorship and Google product support, was open to applications from 17 countries across Africa, which included Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe. It aims is to support the growth of the start-ups through their crucial growth phases.
According to the Africa Internet Economy 2020 report, sponsored by Google and IFC, Africa’s internet economy was poised to boost the continent’s economy by 5.25 percent in the next five years.
The report stated that the headwinds caused by Covid-19 would not deter the growth of Africa’s internet economy, which was projected to contribute nearly $189 billion (R2.7 trillion) to Africa’s gross domestic product by 2025, increasing to $712bn by 2050.