IFC and Viva Technology today announced the second edition of the AfricaTech Awards, an initiative to spotlight Africa-focused companies with innovative solutions addressing key development challenges linked to climate change, health care, and financial inclusion. Founders are invited to apply for the awards in three categories – climate tech, fintech, and health tech – on the awards’ website from February 27 to March 12, 2023.
The winners of the awards will gain access to leaders and top executives in the tech industry and increased visibility among global investors, including IFC, one of the largest venture capital investors in emerging markets. The inaugural edition of the awards launched last year attracted more than 300 applicants. WEEE Centre won the award in the climate tech category, Click2Sure in fintech, and Chefaa in health tech.
Tech entrepreneurship can help drive economic growth in Africa and promote innovation and competitiveness in key sectors of the economy, including financial services, logistics, commerce, energy, and agriculture. Funding for African tech startups reached a record $5.4 billion in 2022 but that is just a fraction of the funding available in developed countries. U.S. startups, for example, received $200 billion in 2022.
“Tech entrepreneurship can help shape Africa’s future by contributing to countries’ efforts to address key challenges linked to climate change, food security, health resilience, and financial inclusion,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director. “Yet Africa’s tech ecosystems are underserved by private capital investments, receiving just 1 percent of the global VC funding in 2022. With initiatives like the AfricaTech Awards, we hope to help innovative startups attract more private investment, showcasing the dynamic and growing opportunities in the continent’s tech sector.”
The 2023 AfricaTech Awards are part of IFC’s strategy to support tech ecosystems in emerging markets by providing startups with the capital, market expertise, and networks they need to scale. In November 2022, IFC announced a $225 million VC platform to support tech entrepreneurs across Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, and Pakistan. In addition, IFC has recently expanded the IFC Startup Catalyst Program by $60 million to help seed funds, incubators, and accelerators finance and mentor early-stage startups and prepare them for later-stage investment.
The winners of the AfricaTech Awards will be announced at Viva Technology 2023 from June 14-17 in Paris. Knowledge partner Deloitte will help shortlist the top 15 startups under each sector category. After a second round of review by the awards judging panel, the top three startups in each category will be invited to join Viva Technology in Paris and pitch their innovative solutions in front of a global audience of investors, government representatives, and top tech executives.
“Following last year’s success, we are delighted to organize a second edition of the AfricaTech Awards challenge with the support of IFC. The awards will showcase the best of the African technology ecosystem on the VivaTech stage in Paris next June,” said Viva Technology Co-Presidents Maurice Lévy and Pierre Louette and Managing Director François Bitouzet.”Every year, the event gives to outstanding entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to highlight game-changing innovations for the continent. We are therefore building bridges between Africa and new international markets, to draw attention onto African ecosystems and what they have to offer.”