AFD Digital Challenge seeking innovations, projects focused on sustainable cities




For the fourth consecutive year, the French Agency for Development (AFD), has partnered with Digital Africa to organise AFD Digital Challenge. For this new edition, the AFD Digital Challenge will combine the challenge of digital transition with that of sustainable cities, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG).​

“The creation of sustainable cities and communities” is a major challenge in view of the massive urbanization affecting the African continent. In fact, the vulnerabilities related to the centralization of populations are numerous and more particularly in a global context of climatic instability.

A sustainable city is one that has to, first of all, answer the basic needs of its population, and being the economic engine of the country, has to integrate the different environmental, social and cultural challenges related to its development. ​

Digitalization is a powerful lever for the development of a sustainable, resilient and modern city in which its population actively participates in public decisions. However, the rise of digital technology must remain inclusive and accessible to all so as not to increase the inequalities of the continent.

Applicants to AFD Digital Challenge must ensure that their submission meets the following four essentials:

1. The project proposes a solution in the field of urban services, urban planning for the most vulnerable, local economic development or improvement in citizen and local authorities relationship.

2. The project is in the process of prototyping, launching on the market or expanding into other territories.

3. The project has a legal structure as well as a sustainable and autonomous business model.

4. That digital technology is the heart of the proposed solution.

A public and solidarity bank, the AFD is the central player in the French development policy, committed to projects that concretely improve the lives of people in developing countries, emerging countries and the overseas territories. ​Intervening in multiple sectors – energy, health, biodiversity, water, digital technology, trainings – AFD supports the transition to a safer, fairer and more sustainable world. Present in 108 countries through a network of 85 agencies, it provides financing and guidance to more than 2,500 development projects.

Digital Africa is an open and inclusive innovation, which aims to support the African entrepreneurial dynamic, drive digital innovation, and support the emergence of impact entrepreneurs.​ It brings together African innovation initiatives and ecosystems, supporting them by giving them access to resources and business opportunities, and links them with European innovation ecosystems to innovate together.

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