Nokia has partnered with a social innovation centre in Nigeria called Co-Creation Hub (CCHub) to launch Africa’s first Growth Academy for early stage mobile technology startups.

The Growth Academy is the first of its kind in the country set to accelerate the expansion of Nigerian mobile software companies across Africa. It offers continuous hands-on support to approximately thirty startups to enable them grow into high growth businesses, and also build world-class applications for Nokia devices.

“The Growth Academy programme is a novel accelerator programme in Nigeria which will build the capacity of Nigerian technology startups to create world-class applications that meet the real needs of Nigerian consumers,” The Director of Pre-Incubation and Research of CCHUB, Adetunji Eleso said.

The programme includes support and training around the development and launch of first-rate mobile apps. Participants will undergo structured hands-on technical training, and at the end of three months, they are expected to have an excellent mobile app to be launched for Nokia devices. Funding will afterwards be provided to the participants to help them scale up their businesses following a presentation to the investors at the end of the programme.

“At Nokia, our objective with the Growth Academy is to support local talent in developing their skills and in growing their companies. Our aim is to integrate them into both regional and global markets and ensure future funding for growing their companies,” Teemu Kiijarvi, The Head of Ecosystem and Developer Experience for Nokia West Africa, said.

The Academy’s first programme, set to feature ten companies, started on May 10 and will run until the end of July. By the end of June 2012, CCHUB and Nokia will start looking for the next intake of companies for their next program session.

This story originally appeared on HumanIPO.

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