2022 French Agency for Development (AFD) Digital Challenge for African Start-ups (€150K prize)

Application for 2022 French Agency for Development (AFD) Digital Challenge is ongoing!

The Digital Energy Challenge for Start-ups rewards every year 5 to 8 start-ups working on innovative digital projects that aim to increase energy access and improve power grid performance in Africa.

AFD Digital Challenge- Eligibility

The Call for Projects is open to start-ups and utilities.

The start-up must meet the following criteria:

  • Created less than 10 years ago
  • Be in the pre-seed/early-stage financing phase i.e. less than €1M funding raised
  • Annual turnover of less than €1M
  • Employ between 1 and 99 people full-time.    

NGOs can apply under the Start-up category if the project meets one of the additional following criteria:

  • The project is set up as a company as a branch of the NGO
  • The project has a dedicated team and business plan and clearly targets business sustainability/profitability (e.g. plans to spin off as an independent entity).

Finally, the start-up’s project must meet one of the three above-mentioned themes and be:

  • Digital i.e. based on a telecom, computer or cloud-based technology 
  • Innovative, either intrinsically or compared to the local market
  • Local i.e. headquartered or with project management activities in the country of the project

AFD Digital Challenge- Benefits

For every annual Call for Projects, the 5 to 8 winning start-ups will each benefit from:

  • Financial support of up to €150K including Grant funding to contribute to costs for equipment, software, training, and recruitment; Technical assistance (awarded on a case-by-case basis), which could include project management support, strategic and technical expertise, and accounting/reporting assistance
  • A joint boot camp run by cross-sectorial experts, to support project implementation, provide sectorial insights, foster synergies between project winners, and encourage best-practice sharing
  • Widespread communication campaigns piloted by AFD during the selection phase, award ceremony, bootcamp, and for a period of time after these events.

How to apply for AFD Digital Challenge

1. Download the Start-up Application Pack (email address required) DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION PACK

2. Watch the recording of the webinar in English here or in French here

3. Complete the application form and prepare the required documents 

Application timeline

  • Launch of the Call for Projects: 1st March 2022
  • Information webinar: Watch the recording of the webinar in English here or in French here
  • Deadline for submission: 30th April 2022 – 23:59 CET
  • Notification of award winners and bootcamp: Autumn 2022

For More Information: Visit the Official Webpage







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