Google Announces AI Accelerator Program For African Startups with $350,000 Investment

Google AI First Accelerator Program Startups

Google today unveiled the “Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First”. It is an initiative aimed at supporting African startups looking to use artificial intelligence to solve local challenges. This program recognises the role that AI is playing across the world as it innovates industries and reimagines the realms of possibilities. It also highlights the significant contributions of African startups in addressing some of the region’s most pressing challenges through the use of AI.

Google AI Accelerator for African Startups

The ‘AI First’ program is aimed at supporting startups keen on delving into AI’s possibilities. It is a 10-week equity-free accelerator program for Seed to Series A startups based in Africa or developing Africa-centered solutions.

Google is now accepting applications from startups in Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte D’ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

The program draws learnings from past initiatives such as the

  • Google for Startups Accelerator: Africa
  • The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund
  • and The Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders

Applications for the 10-week equity-free accelerator are now open. Participants will benefit from access to:

  • Google’s AI expertise
  • Technical resources including up to $350k Google Cloud Credits
  • Mentorship from seasoned AI professionals
  • Invaluable networking opportunities.

Speaking about the initiative, Folarin Aiyegbusi, Head of Startup Ecosystem, Africa, remarked,

“Africa’s tech landscape is vibrant and ever-evolving. It’s inspiring to see African startups not only harnessing AI to address our unique challenges but also setting benchmarks for the world. ‘AI First’ is more than a program. It’s a testament to our belief in the vision of these startups. This ensures they have the support and guidance they need to realise their full potential.

Since inception in 2018, the program has supported 106 startups from 17 African countries. Collectively, these startups have raised over $263 million in funding creating over 2,800 direct job opportunities in the region.

Startups are invited to apply by September 6, 2023. For more details and to submit applications, please visit

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