Smart Cities Innovation Programme

#SCIPAfrica is a 6-month accelerator for startups in Mobility, Housing & Fintech


May 23
Jun 21 - Dec 17
GIZPublic Sector Initiative
Visit website External link to website
Utilities, Water, sanitation and hygiene, Clean technology, Construction, Environmental services, Financial services, Fintech, Green transportation and electric motors, Insurance, Public transport, Remittance, Smart city solutions, Waste management and recycling
The Call for Applications for the Smart Cities Innovation Programme is now officially open! If you are a tech startup operating in the field of Mobility, Housing or Fintech, we encourage you to apply to #SCIPAfrica accelerator and contribute to shaping the African Cities of tomorrow!

What is the Smart Cities Innovation Programme (SCIP)?

SCIP aims at supporting 30 high-potential start-ups from Africa divided into 3 tracks: Smart Mobility, Smart Housing and Fintech for Affordability. The start-ups will benefit from individual mentoring, training as well as intensive networking and matchmaking with international business partners and investors, including Volkswagen, Siemens and the African Business Angels Network (ABAN). Startups will also be able to use Green City Kigali, Rwanda’s flagship smart city project, as a sandbox to test their solutions and enter the Rwandan market. To learn more about SCIP, visit

Why apply to SCIP?

  • Access a network of international partners –Startups will be linked to international business partners, public institutions and investors.
  • Get support from dedicated mentors –Startups will be advised by a sector specific mentor and business development mentor.
  • Receive training tailored to your needs –Startups will receive trainings based on their identified needs, not a predefined curriculum.
  • Learn from peers in your sector –Startups will exchange with their cohort peers in the mobility, housing or fintech sector.

Who are we looking for?

SCIP aims at accelerating start-ups which have:

  • Operations in Africa: The startup is operating in one or more African countries. Startups from Rwanda are preferred at equal qualification.
  • Innovative Smart Cities Solutions: The start-up provides an innovative technology-powered product or service and/or an innovative business model in the field of Smart Mobility, Smart Housing, and Fintech for affordability.
  • Launched their tech-enabled product or service on the market and have customers.
  • Growth & job creation potential: The start-up has the potential to expand its operations and meet significant market demand. Through growth, the start-up has the potential to create jobs and other sources of reliable income through its business model and/or connection to value chains.
  • Social & environmental impact: The start-up has the potential to have a positive effect on the environment and/or society.
  • Strong & motivated team: The team has a solid background to grow the business and demonstrated motivation to join the program. Startups with female members in management are preferred at equal qualification.

Finally, startups with female members in management are preferred at equal qualification.


SCIP is a 6-month remote accelerator running from June to December 2021. It will culminate with demo days organized in Kigali in the last weeks of September.

  1. Open Call: April 12th – May 23rd
    Selection during and after the Open Call.
  2. Kick-off phase: June 21st – July
    Remote needs assessment and virtual bootcamp
  3. Mentorship phase: August – September
    Remote mentorship and demo days in Kigali, Rwanda.
  4. Follow-up phase: October – November
    Securing collaborations post-demo-days.

How to apply?

Submit your application form on before the end of the Open Call on May 23rd. If your application is shortlisted, you will be invited to submit additional information about your start-up and participate to an interview.

About SCIP

The rate of urbanisation in Africa is the highest in the world. By 2030, 50% of Africans are predicted to be living in urban settings. According to the World Bank, this increasing urbanisation holds much potential for the continent, as it can result in economic growth and poverty reduction. At the same time, it holds the risk of aggravating inequality and urban poverty. Therefore, concrete action to direct Africa’s urban transformation in terms of the Sustainable Development Goals is needed. In collaboration with the Rwandan government, SCIP has been set up to support the growth of digital urban innovations in Rwanda and beyond. 

SCIP is a joint project of the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation and the Tech-Entrepreneurship Initiative “Make IT in Africa”. Both initiatives are implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The implementation of SCIP is supported by Luvent Consulting, MEST and AfriLabs.