French Agency for Development (AFD) Digital Challenge 2021 for African Entrepreneurs (20,000€ prize)


Application Deadline: May 26, 2021.

The AFD Digital Challenge starts today. For its fifth edition, the competition is devoted to startups and digital innovations that promote climate protection and biodiversity in Africa. Applicants have until May 26th, 2021 to submit their applications.

« Innovate for climate and biodiversity » is the theme at the heart of the fifth edition of the AFD Digital Challenge.

With this annual competition, the AFD Group is once again strengthening its support to African start-ups and digital stakeholders. A digital revolution, driven by a new generation of entrepreneurs who combine innovation, economic performance, and social and environmental impact, is transforming the African continent.

Promoting a sustainable economic activity

Each year, the aim of the AFD Digital Challenge is to identify these startups, promote them, and accelerate their development. The mission of this fifth edition is to highlight digital innovation projects that help protect the environment, combat global warming, and/or protect biodiversity.

The competition is aimed at start-ups, associations, and research centers on the African continent, which offer innovative solutions to reduce the carbon impact of economic activities, promote the sustainable, participatory, and civic management of natural resources, and to promote a sustainable economic activity in accordance with environmental issues.

The 10 winning projects will receive financial support, as well as support to accelerate their project and participate in the development of solutions to protect the climate and biodiversity. They will be supported by AFD through an « acceleration pack », a technical and financial support worth €20 000.


  1. Your project is related to one of the themes presented above and detailed in the rules

​​2.  Your project is already on the market and is in the  seed/launch phase

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

​4.  Digital technology is at the heart of your solution

Selection phases
  • An application review phase, validating the eligibility of applicants and pre-selecting 30 start-ups on the basis of an analysis of the projects, their innovative nature, their economic model, their impact, and the role of digital technology;
  • An in-depth analysis phase by AFD experts of the pre-selected projects;
  • A final selection by the jury composed of AFD experts.

Announcement of the results on June 30, 2021.


  • Applications can be submitted from April 28 to May 26, 2021.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the AFD Digital Challenge 2021



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