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African startups will be able to apply for seed funding from a new €65-million French development agency (AFD) fund via an innovation competition, when applications for the competition open later this year.
The news was announced by French President Emmanuel Macron last Thursday (24 May) while he was speaking at French tech summit VivaTech, held in Paris between 24 and 26 May.
“And the French Development Agency is going to announce in the coming weeks a new specific programme of €65 million in order to invest small amounts, €30 000 to €50 000 per startup,” said Macron.
The AFD’s Digital Africa initiative will invest between €30 000 to €50 000 in African startups
The Digital Africa initiative is an AFD-sponsored innovation competition which has been running for three years and aims to support African digital innovation. This year’s edition is aimed at women-led startups, as well as innovators with solutions for gender equality.
Applications for this year’s edition are set to open on 10 September, with entries closing on 19 October. In addition to financial support, winners of the competition will also receive assistance towards accelerating their solutions, and scaling them across Africa.
On Friday (25 May), a day after Macron’s announcement, the AFD announced the launch of the Digital Africa “label and networking platform” in a post on its website.
The agency stated that the label’s objective is to “to support the African entrepreneurial dynamic, to drive digital innovation and to support the emergence of entrepreneurs with an impact on the continent”.
The agency also added that Digital Africa will in the coming months launch a digital networking platform, which would be promoted and run by a non-profit association whose members will include the AFD, Jokkolabs, Bond’Innov, GEN Africa, CFI, and AfriLabs.
For more information on the application process (in French only) go here.
Featured image: French President Emmanuel Macron speaking at the Viva Technology summit, held in Paris last week (AFD_en via Twitter)