Smart Cities

Smart Cities Innovation Program selects 31 African tech startups as latest cohort

smart cities innovation - cleanbuild

The African continent is undergoing massive urban growth and population expansion. With its current growth trajectory, the United Nations has projected that by 2050, Africa will have the fastest global population growth with more than half of it citizens dwelling in urban areas

While the urbanization process has the potential to drive transformation globally, many economies are not ready due to infrastructural deficits in areas such as transportation, health, education utilities (power, clean water, and sanitation), among others.

In Africa, efforts are underway to transform urban areas into smart cities in a bid to address urbanization growth. One of such initiatives is the Smart Cities Innovation Program (SCIP) launched by the Rwandan Ministry of ICT and Innovation and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

For the 2021 edition of the Smart Cities Innovation Program, thirty-one African tech startups have been selected out of over 300 applicants to participate across three tracks addressing common topics of smart cities – cleantech and smart housing, smart mobility, and fintech for affordability.

Startups will be able to use the Green City Kigali, Rwanda’s flagship smart city project, as a real application case to test their solutions and penetrate the Rwandan market.

Here are the African tech startups selected to participate in the Smart Cities Innovation program:

Cleantech and smart housing

The selected startups in this track include three Nigerian startups, namely Scrapays, Koolboks, and Gas360; Ivory Coast’s Messibat, Uganda’s EcoPlastile, Rwanda’s Urbany Africa, and South Africa’s Dove Air.

Smart mobility

In this track, six of the selected startups are from Kenya: Kiri EV, Mazi Mobility, Instadriver, BasiGo, Smatbeba, e-safiri, and Expendo. Three startups in this cohort are Rwanda-based: Digital Blind Walking Stick, Gura Universal Link, and STES Group.

Other participants include Egypt’s Transport for Cairo, Ivory Coast’s EWarren Financial Services, Tunisia’s Optimalogistic, Uganda’s KaCyber Security Tech, and Zimbabwe’s Tuverl.

Fintech for affordability

Kenya’s Cladfy, Digiduka; Ghana’s Cofundie, Naa Sika; Uganda’s Payclide, and Flow were selected to participate in the fintech for affordability track. This track also includes Angle Dimension from Malawi, Insure Pay from Zambia, and Mopay from Rwanda.

In line with the Sustainable Development Goals and Africa’s urbanization plan, the six-month accelerator will help these startups scale innovative products to ensure smart cities achieve inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

They will receive holistic support including virtual and physical training, personalized coaching, and mentoring from seasoned experts. They will also get access to the program’s network of corporate and public partners as well as investors.

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