Ghana Tech Lab (GTL) in partnership with GIZ’s AI and technology entrepreneurship initiatives and IBM have launched the Africa AI Accelerator Programme 2020 to support the scaling of the next generation of Africa’s AI start-ups.
The initiatives, “Fair Forward” and “Make-IT in Africa” are projects implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development to promote AI technology and digital innovations respectively.
The six-month programme, will be anchored on tailored support and one-on-one coaching aimed at strengthening the business and technical capacity of participating entrepreneurs.
A statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said the Africa AI Accelerator was designed by GTL to promote local innovations in the field of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data usage.
The first cohort will support 10 AI start-ups from Ghana, South Africa, Rwanda, and Uganda with programme partners being GIZ and IBM.
The Programme was structured to provide start-ups with technical product development and business development support through a blended accelerator programme with a virtual and physical interface.
It has been customized to boost collaboration between start-ups and corporates, commercial partners, and investors, participating start-ups will receive support to meet clear growth aspirations through measurable targets setting.
The statement said artificial intelligence offers new opportunities in developing and emerging countries to overcome obstacles and achieve the SDGs.
“AI can help agriculture to automatically detect plant diseases or provide local digital companies with new tools. Yet, local AI innovation to solve local problems currently lacks the needed support”, it added.
It said developing and emerging countries are therefore at risk of lagging behind in the use and development of AI or becoming dependent on leading AI nations.
“It has become clear that without an intentional approach towards building necessary capacity, technology and data to train AI, developing countries may fail to take advantage of the enormous benefits of an AI oriented local economy”.
The Africa AI Accelerator programme is geared to be a turning point for AI startups in Africa, building innovative AI solutions for the development of the continent.