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To mark the major VivaTech digital event organized in Paris from 24 to 26 May, AFD is announcing that it is scaling up its support for African start-ups by launching the Digital Africa Label and partnering with the Digital Observer digital observatory.

When Africa innovates, AFD supports. In the context of the presidential announcement of EUR 65m of financing for Digital Africa, AFD is unveiling its new mechanism to support African start-ups to help bring about the emergence of the unicorns of tomorrow on the continent.

Digital Africa: a competition, a label, a platform 

Next September, the Digital Africa competition will be back for the third year running. It aims to identify and support the best talents for digital innovation in Africa. This edition, entitled “Digital Africa for Women”, will be dedicated to promoting gender equality in Africa. The competition will be open to start-ups run by women and those which offer innovative solutions for gender equality. 

The competition will be open to applications from 10 September to 19 October 2018. The start-ups selected will benefit from financial support, but also assistance in speeding up their project, and will promote their integration into Africa’s digital ecosystem.  

In addition to the annual competition, AFD is launching the Digital Africa label, combined with a digital networking platform. The objectives: support African entrepreneurial dynamics, promote innovation through digital technologies and help bring about the emergence of entrepreneurs with social impacts. 

Africa is being showcased at Vivatech this year. The digital revolution is currently transforming Africa. President Emmanuel Macron has just announced the launch of Digital Africa, a platform and a label to connect innovative African, French and European ecosystems with EUR 65m of financing entrusted to AFD to support African start-ups. It is a tremendous technological leap, but also economic and social, provided it promotes sustainable development and inclusion, particularly for women. These are powerful and positive dynamics which AFD Group wishes to speed up, for the benefit of the climate and social ties. Africa is innovating, Africa is inspiring. Let’s take the measure of what the continent brings to its citizens and to the world.

Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive Officer of AFD
digitalobserver.africa, a digital observatory in Africa 

Digitalobserver.africa is a platform to speed up digital transformation projects in Africa with which AFD wanted to establish a strong partnership. In addition to offering a collaborative open data platform, digitalobserver.africa prepares an annual summary.

This allows valuable data on the development of the digital economy in Africa to be aggregated, but also an assessment of the disparity of digital information in the country and the difficulty of putting investors and project initiators in touch. This platform is also positioned as a digital observatory in Africa, where the innovation of today and tomorrow is teeming.