GSA Africa

Africa is now part of the largest independent startup ecosystem competition

The Global Startup Awards is the largest independent startup ecosystem competition with the mission to find, recognize and connect the future-shapers of the digital age from all around the world. The Global Startup Awards (GSA) started in 2012 as a global movement and now operates in 113 countries and 3 continents. In 2021, we have launched GSA Africa to include all 5 regions in Africa.

For the first time ever, innovators from all 55 African countries have the chance to showcase their solutions and participate in the movement.

At GSA Africa, we aim to connect the best of African tech startups to a global network of leading investors and innovation ecosystems.


September 30, 2021
Organizer Global Startup Awards Africa
Website Visit website
Targets Africa
Sectors Sector agnostic


Via GSA Africa we scout 55 countries across multiple categories to expose the digital future shapers of the 2020s. The categories have been created to address both the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, which strives to feed Africa, industrialize Africa, integrate Africa, and, ultimately, improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.



  • WOMAN IN TECH celebrates a pioneering tech startup founded and owned by a woman/women.
  • AGRI TECH is awarded to innovative solutions in food security, food production, farming methods and nutrition.
  • HEALTH TECH recognizes a startup that has initiated medical breakthroughs through innovative solutions in BioTech, HealthTech, wellness and telemedicine to improve quality of life.
  • COMMERCE TECH acknowledges the startup connecting Africa by enabling commerce using technologies ranging from mobile-commerce, e-commerce, blockchain, and cryptocurrency, to fintech, insurtech and big data.
  • INDUSTRIAL TECH celebrates the startup that is enabling Africa’s industrialization with innovative solutions for safety, mining, manufacturing, production, logistics, mobility and supply chain management.
  • ESG TECH is awarded to the startup that is enabling environmental, social impact or corporate governance solutions in areas such as renewable energy, CleanTech, sustainability, recycling, water and sanitation, human rights, EdTech, GovTech, policy and regulation, among others.
  • STARTUP OF THE YEAR salutes a startup that inspires the next generation of founders by positively impacting the economy and the world in general. It should be a product and/or service that is already a success on the market, disrupting its industry with an innovative approach.
  • BEST NEWCOMER acknowledges a startup of up to two years in age with the potential to become Startup of the Year in the future. Its product and/or service should already be on the market and on a path to disrupt its industry and positively impact the economy and the world.
  • FOUNDER OF THE YEAR will go to a startup founder or co-founder who has shown strong leadership skills and achieved exceptional business results while also being an inspiration to their team and a role model for the next generation of founders.
  • VC OF THE YEAR honors the VC who has created impressive financial results while investing bravely in innovative companies that can positively impact the economy and the world, supporting them with resources other than purely financial.
  • BEST ACCELERATOR/INCUBATOR PROGRAM recognizes a fixed-term, cohort-based, mentorship-driven program that helps and empowers entrepreneurs to foster the growth of their innovative companies by providing tools, resources, connections, knowledge and expertise.
  • BEST CO-WORKING SPACE is bestowed on a co-working space that deserves recognition for the services, support, and resources it gives to fast-growth startups, and for creating a culture and an environment that fosters innovation.


  • The startup cannot be older than 5 (five) years – calculated from establishment date until public nominations open (with exception of the Best Newcomer category and the Best Venture Capitalist category).
  • The startup must have been founded and must currently be located in the country participating in the competition.
  • The startup must have a minimum viable product (MVP) and/or service in the market.
  • The startup must be generating monthly recurring revenue.
  • The startup must have a team of two or more people.
  • The startup must be African-led, meaning that it must have at least one founder or co-founder on the team who is from Africa and resides on the continent.
  • All applications must be submitted in English, and all decks/pitches must be in English too.
  • No applicant may reach out to judges/jury members in advance of the competition process advocating for their startup. Anyone who does so will be disqualified. If you have any conflicts of interest, please reach out to the GSA Africa team prior to submitting your application.
  • GSA Africa reserves the right to select and reject applicants at any time.


The ultimate opportunity is for the GSA African winner’s pool to be funded by the GIIG Africa Fund.

What can you gain as a winner in the competition?

  • African winners will be invited to apply for funding from the GIIG Africa fund
  • Visibility and recognition nationally, regionally, and globally via the GSA network
  • Access to GSA Alumni Network which is an invite-only VIP club that not only serves a greater movement that fosters the development of startup ecosystems globally but also gives you access to a well-selected global network to support your business endeavors.
  • Connection to other regional and global stakeholders – finalists, winners, juries, partners, and ambassadors.
  • Matchmaking with active investors, successful startups, accelerator and incubator programs, as well as government initiatives.
  • Promotion through Global Startup Awards’ regional and global social media channels and newsletters.
  • Prize Sponsor Benefits: Enjoy the benefits of valuable services and products offered by our Prize Sponsors, as well as the opportunity to have a one-hour online conversation with some of the globally recognized investors and industry experts from all around the world.

For more information contact:

Nominee application process explained