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GIZ announces 8 Francophone startups selected for the 2022 Accelerator for Climate Change Innovations

It is no news thatclimate change affects all communities globally, and even more so vulnerable ones. Every day brings examples of extreme weather pattern changes, rising in sea levels, temperatures, and greenhouse gas emissions. West Africa and Sahel regions are heavily hit by climate change consequences. At the same time, an increased development and adoption of digital services is taking shape across the region to tackle some of these challenges. 

For this reason, GIZ and VC4A in close collaboration with local partners set up the GIZ Accelerator program for Climate Change Innovations earlier this year. The goal of the program is three-folds: first, to identify early-stage companies in Benin, Cameroon, and Niger that deliver digital solutions or services to combat climate change. Secondly, to scale up these companies with personal and collective business development support. Thirdly, to benefit fromGerman Development Cooperation’sDigital Transformation Centers (DTCs) support and connections in each of the countries.

To identify these startups, the DTCs and VC4A teamed up with Etrilabs (Benin), ActivSpaces (Cameroon), and CIPMEN (Niger) to organize an innovation challenge. Aim was to look forinnovative and impactful tech-based solutions, either tackling the adverse effects or minimizing the negative impact of climate change,and additionally have a strong socio-economic impact, especially towards women, girls, and marginalized communities. The challenge had a special focus onwater & soil management, agritech, and access to agricultural markets, protection of biodiversity & natural resources, clean energy, air, land and water pollution, and last-mile distribution of essential goods & services.

After an open call for applications in all three countries, through which a total of 274 applications were received, and a shortlist of 13 startups was identified. Founders and their teams were then interviewed by an external jury consisting of investors and sectoral experts from all three countries. Based on these interviews and their rating by an independent jury, we are happy to share to the following finalists:

In Benin, the selected startups are

Tic Agro Business Benin

Tic Agro Business is a social enterprise which advocates the use of Information and Communication Technologies in agriculture in order to facilitate agricultural advice and the popularization of good agricultural practices in local languages.

Africereal Group Benin

AfriCereal Group is a technology company that offers mechanization of agricultural operations. Through its services, the company simplifies agricultural operations, contributes to the reduction of post-harvest losses and improves the production and income of small producers.

Avodjekpon Global Solutions Benin

Last from Benin is Avodjekpon Global Solutions who use Biodiversity Computing to provide warning services against the spread of animal and crop diseases and loss of biodiversity in the context of climate change. This makes risk management and conservation plans for endangered species possible.

In Cameroon, the three winners are

CLEAN Energy Services Cameroon

Clean Energy is a food preservation company that has integrated both photovoltaic and thermal energy, to produce a solar freezer capable of operating 24hours without electricity.

CLINICAGRO SARL Cameroon

ClinicAgro provides new solutions for the development of modern agriculture, a source of quality food for all and mindful of the environment. Our technology allows farmers to quickly make the right decision to choose favorable crop types, optimize their input costs, know the right time to plant and improve their productivity and profitability.

Govinzo SARL Cameroon

Govinzo offers biodegradable sanitary napkins based on banana powder and corn powder. Through our platform, MenstruAction, we aim to better the management of menstrual hygiene among young girls and women in the 10 regions of Cameroon.

In Niger the two finalists are,

MapTic Niger Niger

MapTic is the first agency in Niger specializing in the use of digital cartography with the goal of predicting climate-change and building a participatory digital map on the mapping of green spaces throughout the Niger regions.

Niger FPV Niger

Niger FPV is an agritech company specialized in manufacturing and drone services, which helps farmers analyze cartographic data and crop protection from the risks of poisoning and heat stroke when they spray harmful pesticides.

Going forward these startups will be further supported by Etrilabs, ActivSpace, and CIPMEN and the local Digital Transformation Centers in the development of their business. They will work with a dedicated business mentor who will share experiences, expertise, and networks to help the startups grow. Also, all winners will receive a matching seed funding grant and get the opportunity to present themselves towards a group of selected investors at the end of the program, which is foreseen for November 2022. 

For further information, please seehttps://vc4a.com/dtc/giz-accelerator-program-for-climate-change-innovations and/or contact Frederique Bisserier atfrederique[at]vc4a[dot]com.