The World Bank Group is to launch a series of accelerator programmes across Africa, aimed at helping tech startups commercialise and scale innovative digital products.
The first programme launched by the World Bank in Africa is to be held in partnership with Senegalese hub CTIC Dakar. The Jambar Tech Lab will connect 40 local high-growth startups with the knowledge, capital, and access to markets they need to grow.
This initial programme will be joined in the coming months by new regional acceleration programmes in eastern and southern Africa, while early next year the World Bank Group will launch the Pan-African Acceleration Programme.
The pan-African accelerator will see 20 of the best startups from across the continent receive additional coaching, mentorship, and exposure to global investors and funds.
“The digital economy plays a key role in many African countries, as part of the broader services sector that drives more than half of the economic growth in the continent,” said Ganesh Rasagam, manager for Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the World Bank Group’s Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice.
The initial Jambar Tech Lab accelerator is supported by the governments of Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Senegal, and will be implemented by CTIC Dakar. It has been launched to equip entrepreneurs with the skills and resources they need to accelerate the development of their businesses, either by entering larger markets or attracting capital from early-stage investors.
Jambar Tech Lab will offer a six-month programme designed to improve the capacity of local firms to identify market opportunities, develop and test products and services, and access business mentors and appropriate financing.