#DigitalAfrica challenge to promote digital innovation in Africa
By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
African and French start-ups companies working for development in areas including fintech, health, environment – energy and agricultural have until 15 November 2016 to enter into the Start-Up Challenge Digital Africa (#Digital Africa) competition. Thanks to the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and Bpifrance who together launched this digital innovation competition to encourage and promote the development of digital start-ups in Africa.
In a statement issued and copied Biztechafrica, it noted that Africa is more and more connected, particularly due to the rapid adoption of mobile telephony, and has become a continent of digital innovation.
It said the development of mobile payments and the increasing adoption of smart phones and broadband Internet are among the many factors that now enable digital entrepreneurs to propose new products and services in all economic sectors. “The dynamism of digital ecosystems has led to an increase in the number of technological hubs, co-working units, laboratories and incubators, of which there are now more than 300 on the continent,” it added.
As AFD and Bpifrance joined forces to bring their experience in the financing of digital innovation and development on the continent to bear through the "Startup Challenge Digital Africa", it is believed that such a move would encourage and support new players in the digital economy, accelerate the sharing of know-how and facilitate the emergence of new solutions for development.
According to the statement, in all 10 successful applicants will be awarded and invited to the 27th Africa-France Summit, to be held at Bamako on 13 and 14 January 2017 to present their project and meet partners.
The Digital Africa Start-up Challenge is sponsored by two influential entrepreneurs in the world of technology and innovation: Karim Sy An entrepreneur based in Dakar and Founder of the Jokkolabs network (the 1st African collaborative working space) and Gilles Babinet A French entrepreneur, Founder of Africa4Tech First chairman of the French Digital Council France’s “Digital Champion” who also double as one of the European Commission’s Digital Ambassadors.
The statement further mentioned the AFD and Bpifrance Director General, Rémy Rioux, as saying "Digital technology may be an incredible accelerator of sustainable development in Africa, on condition that each entrepreneur is able to benefit from the innovation springboard.