Thirty-one African tech startups have been selected to participate in the Smart Cities Innovation Programme, which will assist them in scaling up their goods and services in order to accelerate urban transformation.
The six-month Smart Cities Innovation Programme, which was launched by the Rwandan Ministry of ICT and Innovation and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), is designed to help African startups scale innovative products that can boost urbanisation potential, ensuring smart cities achieve inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
The program directly contributes to Africa’s urban development in line with the Sustainable Development Goals by scaling smart city concepts. Green City Kigali, Rwanda’s pilot initiative for green urbanisation, is used as an application case for smart cities in the program. Startups work on a viable business proposition and investigate the possibilities of the Rwandan market by testing and adapting their solutions under actual market conditions.
After receiving more than 300 applications for the program, 31 startups have been selected to participate in three tracks addressing common smart city topics: cleantech and smart housing, smart mobility, and fintech for affordability.
Scrapays, Koolboks, and Gas360 are three Nigerian startups in the first track, as are Rwanda’s Urbany Africa, South Africa’s Dove Air, Uganda’s EcoPlastile, and Ivory Coast’s Messibat.
In the smart mobility track, six of the startups are Kenyan: Kiri EV, Mazi Mobility, Instadriver, BasiGo, Smatbeba, e-safiri, and Expendo. The rest of the cohort is made up of Rwandan companies Digital Blind Walking Stick, Gura Universal Link and STES Group, plus Tunisia’s Optimalogistic, Egypt’s Transport for Cairo, Ivory Coast’s EWarren Financial Services, Zimbabwe’s Tuverl, and Uganda’s KaCyber Security Tech.
In the fintech for affordability track, Kenya (Cladfy, Digiduka), Ghana (Cofundie, Naa Sika), and Uganda (Payclide, Flow) each have two startups, along with Malawi’s Angle Dimension, Zambia’s Insure Pay, and Rwanda’s Mopay.
Six months of holistic support will be provided to these startups, including virtual and physical training, individual coaching, and mentoring from seasoned experts. They’ll also get access to the program’s corporate and public partners, as well as investors, allowing for plenty of networking and matchmaking opportunities.