French-run Digital Africa competition to support African startups

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The second edition of the Digital Africa competition has launched in a bid to support five selected African tech startups with technical and financial support.

The challenge has been launched by Proparco, a subsidiary of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Bpifrance and La French Tech, and will see five startups from Africa and five from France chosen to receive support.

All winners will benefit from high visibility and access to an international network of partners, clients and investors. The five African winning startups will be accompanied by the AFD through an “acceleration pack”, a customisable, technical and financial support of up to EUR30.000 (US$36,000).

The first edition of the Digital Africa challenge, launched in October 2016, received more than 500 applications and rewarded 10 startups. AFD, Bpifrance and La French Tech have now decided to renew the experience with the objective of offering long-term support to the emergence of mature and solid digital ecosystems.

“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 start-ups of the digital African ecosystems, and fulfils 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,” said Rémy Rioux, AFD executive director.

Nicolas Dufourcq, Bpifrance’s executive director, said his company was proud to participate in the Digital Africa challenge.

“This challenge represents a straight continuation of our action for the internalisation of enterprises and their cooperation with the African continent,” he said.

For the second edition of Digital Africa, startups are invited to propose innovative projects linked to the following themes: Territory, Citizenship, Knowledge and creativity, and Environment and climate.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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