Application for the second edition of Digital Africa challenge, a startup competition and digital innovation to support sustainable development in Africa has opened.

The first edition of the Digital Africa challenge, launched in October 2016, received more than 500 applications and rewarded 10 startups.

Building on this success, the brains behind the challenge, Agence Française de Développement, Bpifrance and La French Tech have decided to renew the experience with the objective of offering a long-term support to the emergence of mature and solid digital ecosystems, catalysers of new economic opportunities.

Commenting on the Digital Africa challenge,  Rémy Rioux, AFD Executive Director said: “Digital innovation is abundant in Africa. Africans are making a technological leap that accelerates the emergence of the continent. Through Digital Africa, AFD supports emblematic start-ups of the digital African ecosystems, and fulfils its mission of development in the service of education and innovation, in the digital age. Development is now moving in both directions, between the two shores of the Mediterranean” –

On his part, Nicolas Dufourcq, Bpifrance Executive Director claims: “We are proud to participate in the Digital Africa challenge and to support 5 French start-ups in their development on the African continent which nowadays offers great opportunities. This challenge represents a straight continuation of our action for the internalization of enterprises and their cooperation with the African continent”.


  1. All the startup winners of this second edition of the Digital Africa challenge will benefit from a high visibility and access an international network of partners, clients and investors.
  2. They will be part of a community that gathers the best talents of digital innovation in Africa and for Africa, in order to share experiences and good practices.
  3. The 5 African winning startups will be accompanied by the AFD through an “acceleration pack”, a customizable, technical and financial support up to a 30.000 euros value.

The 5 French winning startups will be accompanied by Bpifrance up to a 10.000 euros value support pack to strengthen their expertise and develop new opportunities on the African continent: Bpifrance Université training, networking and discovery trip to Abidjan and Cape Town with the French entrepreneur’s community in the French Tech Hubs.

What are the selection criteria?

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

  • Territory (urban challenge, rural transformation, and Smart City etc.)
  • Citizenship (e-government, civic engagement, activism, and alternative media etc.)
  • Knowledge and creativity (education, formation, creative and cultural industries etc.)
  • Environment and climate (green tech, clean tech, sustainable transportation, blue economy, and renewable energies etc.)
  • The relevance of the solutions proposed, their feasibility, sustainability and potential impact will be key criteria in the selection process divided into several steps:


A review of the pre-selected projects by AFD and Bpifrance experts;
A final selection by a jury composed by experts of the technological and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa.

*Pauline Mujawamariya, Director of the Innovation Prize for Africa – African Innovation Foundation;

*Tidjane Deme, General Partner of Partech Venture;

*Emeka Okofore, TED Global, for Africa;

*Aissatou Sow, Director of Development in Africa, Intel Corporation;

*Erick Young, CEO Greentec Capital Partners.

The submission deadline is 22 October 2017. Click here to apply.