​Google has made an announcement that will provide a major boost to African​​ entrepreneurs.

In line with the commitmen​t Google CEO Sundar Pichai made to support African entrepreneurs earlier this year, he said, “We’re excited to announce ​Google Developers Launchpad Africa​, our new hands-on comprehensive mentorship program tailored exclusively to startups based in Kenya, Nigeria and ​​South​​Africa.”

According to Google Kenya Country Manager, Charles Murito, “Anyone who spends time in the African technology space knows that the continent is home to some exciting innovations.”

Over the years, Murito added that Google has worked with some incredible startups across Africa, tackling everything from healthcare, education, ​streamlining e-commerce to ​improving the food supply chain​. Kenya now has an ​​opportunity ​​to ​​get​​involved.

Building on the success of Google’s global ​Launchpad Accelerator programme, this initiative will operate from a new Google Launchpad Space in Lagos (the first onsite location for the programme outside ​​the ​​U.S.).

It will provide African startups with over $3-million in equity-free support, working space, and access to expert advisers from Google, Silicon Valley and Africa, over the next three years. Participants will also ​​receive​​ travel​​ and ​​PR​​ support​​ during ​​the ​​three-month​​ programme.

The first application period is now open through December 11, 9am Pacific Standard Time (PST) and the ​​first ​​class ​​will ​​start ​​​in​​ early ​​2018. ​​More​​ classes ​​will​​ be ​​hosted ​​in ​​2018 ​​and​​beyond.

To​​ qualify, ​​all​​ startups ​​must​​ fulfill ​​the ​​following ​​basic ​​requirements​​:

  • Be​​a​​technology​​
  • Be ​​based ​​in​​ Sub-Saharan​​ Africa​​ and ​​target ​​the ​​African​​
  • Have ​​already ​​raised ​​seed ​​funding

In ​​addition,​​Google ​​will ​​consider:

  • The problem you are trying to solve. How does it create value for users? How are you addressing​​ a​​ real​​ challenge ​​for ​​your ​​home ​​city, ​​country ​​or ​​Africa ​​broadly?
  • Will you share what you learn in Silicon Valley for the benefit of other startups in your local ecosystem?

“We very much look forward to welcome the first cohort of innovators from Kenya for Launchpad Africa and continue to work together to drive innovation in the African market,” Charles Murito concluded.