Unicef Ethiopia backs Global Startup Awards Africa Summit

Global Startup Awards Africa Summit: Dr Aboubacar Kampo, Unicef country representative in Ethiopia. Photo: Supplied
Dr Aboubacar Kampo, Unicef country representative in Ethiopia. Photo: Supplied

The Global Innovation Initiative Group (GIIG), exclusive rights holder to the Global Startup Awards (GSA) Africa, has announced Unicef Ethiopia as strategic partner for the 2022-2023 GSA Africa Summit. This enhances the impact of the upcoming summit, scheduled to take place from 26 to 28 October at the Ethiopia Arts and Science Museum in Addis Ababa.

The GSA Africa Summit, in collaboration with the Ethiopian ministry of labour and skills and the Ethiopian ministry of innovation and technology, and with support from the Ethiopia Entrepreneurship Development Institute, made its debut in 2021.

It rapidly established itself as a vital component of the world’s largest independent start-up ecosystem awards platform. It is the first and only continent-wide competition that aligns with sustainable development goals, providing a platform to scout tech innovation across all 55 African countries.

This year’s summit aims to foster conversations on building innovative nations and innovation-based economies, with a particular focus on youth capabilities and cross-border partnerships. The highlight of the event will be the gala dinner and awards ceremony on 27 October, where 15 winners addressing critical global issues will be honoured. These winners will have the exclusive opportunity to engage with the GIIG Africa Fund.

Unicef operates in 52 African countries and works diligently to protect the rights of every child in the region. In Ethiopia, Unicef collaborates closely with the government in areas such as health, nutrition, WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene), child protection, education, and social policy to empower children and women to thrive and fulfil their potential.

Dr Aboubacar Kampo, Unicef country representative in Ethiopia, expressed, “Our involvement in the GSA Africa Summit is an excellent opportunity to promote local innovative solutions in Ethiopia and the rest of Africa that will improve the lives of women and children. By investing in young innovators and start-ups, we are investing in the future generation.

“An estimated 41% of Ethiopia’s population is under the age of 15. Encouraging young people to think outside the box on how to improve the wellbeing of families through innovation is also an opportunity for Unicef to embed these new solutions into our programming which can only benefit the nation.”

Jo Griffiths, GIIG co-founder, highlighted the significance of this partnership, stating, “In collaboration with Unicef Ethiopia, the summit’s discussions will offer a targeted perspective on leveraging innovation to address urgent challenges, improve quality of life, and set a course for sustainable progress for both present and future generations.”

The GSA Africa Summit serves as a unique opportunity for investors, sponsors, and donors to actively participate in Africa’s burgeoning innovation landscape. This year, the event received 8 272 entries from 54 African countries, resulting in 71 regional winners from northern, southern, eastern, western, and central Africa.

The gala dinner, set to welcome a diverse audience of start-ups, government delegations, investors, and foundations, will announce the 15 final winners. Ethiopia’s role as the host country exemplifies how GSA Africa is effectively accelerating and amplifying African innovation on the global stage, attracting investment and scaling into new markets.

The commitment to supporting African talent is further demonstrated by the success of Kubik, an Ethiopian start-up that not only won Start-up of the Year and the ESG category in the previous season of GSA Africa but also claimed the title of Global Start-up Awards’ Start-up of the Year.

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