The AfricaTech Awards, a pan-African initiative established to recognize and assist the most innovative and influential tech start-ups throughout the continent, have issued a call for applications from Viva Technology and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
In Africa, entrepreneurship has been a crucial driver of economic progress, increasing competitiveness and job creation, particularly among young people. According to Briter Bridges reports, investment in African tech start-ups reached $4.9 billion in 2021, a considerable rise from $2.4 billion in 2020.
Despite increased investor interest, this is still a small fraction of the money received by start-ups in other parts of the world – for example, over $100 billion was invested in European start-ups in 2021, and approximately $330 billion in North American start-ups. Furthermore, a lack of infrastructure and insufficient laws can obstruct the scale-up of start-ups across Africa.
“Africa is buzzing with innovative tech solutions that can help address climate change, promote food security, and expand financial inclusion,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director. “Yet over 80% of African start-ups report difficulties in accessing funding. Initiatives like the AfricaTech Awards, which bring together entrepreneurs, governments, and investors, are key to attracting the resources and support that tech start-ups need to scale their innovations across the continent and beyond.”
The AfricaTech Awards will recognize African start-ups that are generating innovation and development impact in three key areas: climate technology, health technology, and financial technology. Startups interested in participating must submit their applications by March 25, 2022.
A team of industry experts from our expertise partner Deloitte will pre-select the top 45 applicants in May, with support from Viva Technology and IFC. The final winners in each category will be announced during Viva Technology 2022, which will be held on June 15-18 in Paris and online.
Each of the three category winners will gain improved visibility and access to Viva Technology and IFC’s networks, as well as select one-on-one meetings with tech industry leaders and executives.