BFA Global, FSD Africa, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have launched the Africa Blue Wave, a $1 million initiative to support tech startups which will contribute to more sustainable livelihoods and use of ocean and water resources. The initiative, made possible through funding from FSD Africa and the Canadian Government, builds on TECA’s (Triggering Exponential Climate Action) expertise in fostering blue innovation over the last year through a successful pilot wave supported by FSD Africa.
The Africa Blue Wave will support high-potential individuals who demonstrate a passion for addressing climate issues in Africa’s blue economy. It will be implemented by TECA, an initiative of BFA Global, with support from OceanHub Africa.
The wave will recruit 40 innovators from Kenya, Tanzania, Comoros, Madagascar, and Mozambique. Selected participants will receive tailored support in the form of mentorship, guidance from industry experts, networking opportunities, and initial capital investment that can help them build and bring their climate and ocean solutions to market. At the end of the wave, participants will have the opportunity to showcase their solutions and pitch their businesses to investors, potential partners, and industry leaders to secure additional support and investment.
“As we embark on the Africa Blue Wave, we carry with us the invaluable lessons learned from our inaugural wave. These insights will be the cornerstone of our commitment to making this new wave bigger, better, and more impactful than ever before. We’ve demonstrated that solutions can be homegrown by local talent, and I am excited to work with innovators to create more solutions that contribute meaningfully to local and global climate challenges.” Shirley Mburu, TECA Program Director, BFA Global
“Our investment in TECA is core to our mission of financing innovation and supporting innovation in finance. Through our seeding of TECA’s first blue wave this past year, we have seen firsthand the power of combining young African talent with access to expertise, networks and finance, creating new tech-enabled businesses that are solving for climate issues. We are excited to partner with IUCN and BFA Global on the Africa Blue Wave, extending TECA’s reach to new geographies, new challenges and new innovators, leading to more, new genuinely African climate solutions.”
Juliet Munro, Director Digital Innovation, FSD Africa, said: “The initiative aims to invest in Africa’s young innovators to catalyse solutions to address ocean challenges and achieve sustained ocean health across five priority seascape areas in Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique and Tanzania. Our long term goal, as envisaged in the Great Blue Wall initiative, is to transform coastal economies into drivers of positive conservation and socioeconomic development. We commend and greatly support Africa’s leadership and efforts in accelerating the development of a regenerative blue economy on the continent,” stated Thomas Sberna, Regional Head, Coastal and Ocean Resilience, IUCN Eastern and Southern Africa.
Applications are now open and will close on October 15, 2023.
BFA Global is an impact innovation firm that combines research, advisory, venture building, and investment expertise to build a more inclusive, equitable, and resilient future for underserved people and the planet. We partner with leading public, private and philanthropic organizations, global and local, to catalyze innovation ecosystems for impact across emerging markets.
FSD Africa is a specialist development agency working to help make finance work for Africa’s future. Based in Nairobi, FSD Africa’s team of financial sector experts work alongside governments, business leaders, regulators, and policy makers to design and build ambitious programmes that make financial markets work better for everyone. Established in 2012, FSD Africa is incorporated as a non-profit company limited by guarantee in Kenya. It is funded by UK Aid from the UK government.
Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,400 Member organisations and 15,000 experts. This diversity and expertise makes IUCN the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. IUCN, in partnership with Mission Inclusion, is implementing the project “Regenerative Seascapes for People, Climate and Nature”, through funding from Global Affairs Canada.
OceanHub Africa (OHA) was launched in 2019 as an African ocean-impact catalyst, supporting the development of sustainable ocean innovations and the ecosystem to foster them. The organization strives to inspire and assist innovative impact tech and community-based ventures towards nurturing an environmentally conscious, equitable and profitable blue economy benefiting people and nature. Based in Cape Town, at the crossroads of three oceans, OHA operates pan-Africa virtually and through a network of local stakeholders.