(Photo Courtesy)
Advertisement Advertisement  

Agence Francaise de Developement (AFD), Bpifrance, and the La French Tech early this week launched the second edition of Digital Africa, a startup competition and digital innovation to support sustainable development in Africa. The first edition of the Digital Africa challenge, launched in October 2016, received more than 500 applications and rewarded 10 startups which convinced the judging panel on the potential impact of their innovation.

Building on this success, AFD, Bpifrance and La French Tech have decided to renew the experience with the objective of offering a long-term support to the emergence of mature and solid digital ecosystems, catalysers of new economic opportunities.

“Digital innovation is abundant in Africa. Africans are making a technological leap that accelerates the emergence of the continent. Through Digital Africa, AFD supports emblematic startups of the digital African ecosystems, and fulfills its mission of development in the service of education and innovation, in the digital age. Development is now moving in both directions, between the two shores of the Mediterranean” – Rémy Rioux; Executive Director at AFD said in press statement.

The 5 African winning startups of this second edition of the Digital Africa challenge will benefit from a high visibility and access an international network of partners, clients and investors, and they will also be accompanied by the AFD through an acceleration pack, a customizable, technical and financial support up to a 30,000 EUROS (roughly USD$35,737 or 128.7 million UGX).

The 5 French winning startups will be accompanied by Bpifrance up to a 10,000 EUROS (roughly USD$11,910 or 42.9 million UGX) support pack to strengthen their expertise and develop new opportunities on the African continent: Bpifrance Universite training, networking and discovery trip to Abidjan and Cape Town with the French entrepreneurs community in the French Tech Hubs.

Selection criteria:
For the second edition of Digital Africa, startups are invited to propose innovative projects linked to the following themes:

  • Territory (urban challenge, rural transformation, and Smart City etc.)
  • Citizenship (e-government, civic engagement, activism, and alternative media etc.)
  • Knowledge and creativity (education, formation, creative and cultural industries etc.)
  • Environment and climate (green tech, clean tech, sustainable transportations, blue economy, and renewable energies etc.)

The relevance of the solutions proposed, their feasibility, sustainability and potential impact will be key criteria in the selection process divided in several steps:

  • An extensive analysis of the projects, of their innovative nature and of their business model.
  • A review of the pre-selected projects by AFD and Bpifrance experts.
  • A final selection by a jury composed by experts of the technological and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa.

Interested applicants can send in their applications (FOLLOW THE LINK) not later than 22nd October, 2017.