Second edition of Digital Africa challenge launched

LOGO(Image source: startups have until 22 October to deposit their project online on 

To mark the 40th anniversary of PROPARCO, the subsidiary of the French Development Agency (AFD) ( ) dedicated to the Private Sector, AFD, Bpifrance ( ) and The French Tech ( LaFrenchTech. com) are launching the second edition of the Digital Africa challenge, a competition for startups and digital innovations for sustainable development.

The first edition of the Digital Africa Challenge, launched in October 2016, had received more than 500 entries and rewarded 10 startups winners who convinced the jury by the potential impact of their innovation. Thanks to this success, AFD, Bpifrance and La French Tech have decided to renew the experiment with the objective of accompanying in the long term the emergence of mature and solid digital ecosystems, bringing new economic opportunities.

"Digital innovation is abundant in Africa. Africans are making a technological leap that accelerates the emergence of the continent. With Digital Africa, accompanying startups emblematic of African digital ecosystems, AFD fulfills its mission of development in the service of education and innovation, in the digital age. Development is now taking place in both directions, between the two shores of the Mediterranean. " Rémy Rioux, AFD's Managing Director.

Nicolas Dufourcq, CEO of Bpifrance, said: "We are proud to participate in the Digital Africa challenge and to support five French startups in their development on the African continent, which offers exceptional opportunities. This competition is in line with our actions for the internationalization of companies and cooperation with the African continent. "

The five winning African startups will be accompanied by the AFD through an "acceleration pack", personalised technical and financial support of a maximum value of 30,000 euros. 

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

- Territories (urban challenge, rural transformation, and smartcity etc.)

- Citizenship (e-government, engagement, activism, and new media etc.)

- Knowledge and creativity (education, training, creative and cultural industries, etc.)

- Environment and Climate (greentech, cleantech, sustainable transport, blue economy, and energy)

The relevance of imagined solutions, their feasibility, their sustainability and their potential development impacts will be at the heart of the selection process, which will take place in several stages:

-  A thorough analysis of the projects, their innovative character, their economic model;

- A review by the experts of AFD, Bpifrance and La French Tech of pre-qualified projects;- 

- A final selection by the jury made up of experts from the tech-entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa.

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