This week, Google announced plans to continue its accelerator program for African startups as well as launch 40,000 new developer scholarships for those spread across mobile and cloud development tracks in the continent.

The new slate of scholarships — created in partnership with tech talent companies Pluralsight and Andela — will be granted to both beginner and intermediate developers who reside in Africa. At the end of Google’s training, it will then award 1,000 full scholarships to the top students, certifying them in either Android or Cloud development.

According to an announcement from Google, the ongoing accelerator program will be opening up applications in 17 African countries — including Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe — for its sixth class in an effort to both recognize Africa’s exceptional digital talent and provide critical support to startups.

“Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first virtual class of Google for Startups Accelerator kicked off with 20 startups from seven countries undergoing a 12-week virtual journey to redefine their offering while receiving mentoring and attending workshops,” Onajite Emerhor — head of Google for Startups Accelerator Africa — shared in a statement. 

“This year, with the 6th cohort, we want to continue to play our part by supporting developers and startups within the Africa tech ecosystem, ensuring they get all the access and support necessary to see them continue to grow,” he adds, according to TechCrunch.

Google for Startups Accelerator Africa — formerly known as Google Launchpad Accelerator — has worked with up to 50 startups across Africa since launching. It’s expectations now are to help bring forth new opportunities and pave the way for economic and social development.

“The growth of entrepreneurship is crucial, especially in the African context,” Nitin Gajria — managing director of Google Sub-Saharan Africa — said to TechCrunch. “African developers and startups play a critical role in the transformation of the African economy, creating new opportunities and paving the way for the economic and social development on the continent that we want to see. We recognize Africa’s exceptional digital potential, and that is why Google is committed to providing this critical support for African startups.”

For more information about the new scholarships and accelerator program, click here.