6 African Startups Selected as WEF’s 2021 Technology Pioneers

Six African startups are among the 100 up-and-coming growing technology companies selected for the 2021 cohort of the World Economic Forum's Technology Pioneers.

Six African startups from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe are among the 100 up-and-coming growing technology companies that have been selected for the 2021 cohort of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Technology Pioneers —blending an entrepreneurial spirit with science and engineering to tackle global problems head-on.

The Technology Pioneer community is composed of early to growth-stage companies from around the world that are involved in the design, development, and deployment of new technologies and innovations, and are poised to have a significant impact on business and society.

The startups selected from these African countries are; Cambridge Industries (Ethiopia), mPharma (Ghana), Moringa School (Kenya), Sokowatch (Kenya), Kuda Technologies (Nigeria), and FlexFinTx (Zimbabwe). Following their selection as 2021 WEF Technology Pioneers, they join an impressive group of alumni that include many household names, such as Airbnb, Google, Kickstarter, Mozilla, Palantir Technologies, Spotify, TransferWise, Twitter, and Wikimedia.

They begin a two-year journey where they are part of the World Economic Forum’s initiatives, activities, and events, bringing their cutting-edge insight and fresh thinking to critical global discussions.

The 2021 Technology Pioneer from Africa;

  1. Cambridge Industries (Ethiopia): is addressing climate change by developing sustainable city infrastructure to support waste-to-energy products.
  2. mPharma (Ghana): is building good health in Africa through technology-driven healthcare.
  3. Moringa School (Kenya): has built a workforce development platform to serve African students.
  4. Sokowatch (Kenya): is offering same-day delivery and working capital to African retailers.
  5. Kuda Technologies (Nigeria): is providing Africans with access to credit and free banking services.
  6. FlexFinTx (Zimbabwe): is building self-sovereign digital identities to help the over 400 million Africans that lack proper forms of identification.

“It’s a great privilege to be acknowledged as a pioneer by the World Economic Forum,” Sokowatch CEO Mr. Daniel Yu told PC Tech Magazine. “We are continuously looking at how technology can transform the supply chain for informal retailers and improve access to goods for the mass market.”

Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong, CEO of 54gene said, “It is truly an honor to be recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. This is a testament to the outstanding collective output of the Kuda Technologies team to address global health disparities and to imagine a world where precision medicine applies equally to all irrespective of one’s geographical location or economic status.”

For the first time in the community’s history, this year’s cohort had over 30% of companies led by women. The firms also come from regions all around the world, extending their community far beyond Silicon Valley.

This year’s cohort included startups from 26 countries globally and are shaping the future by advancing technologies such as AI, IoT, robotics, blockchain, biotechnology, and many more.

Meanwhile, the WEF has opened an applications portal for the Technology Pioneers Community for the cohort of 2022 (FOLLOW LINK TO SUBMIT). The application deadline is January 31st, 2022 and evaluations will be done on a rolling basis until the deadline. Awardees will be announced in the spring of 2022.


Joan Banura

A journalist at heart 💜 with a passion for Tech.
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