2022 MEST Africa Challenge

Build Better Business

Now calling all technology startups from 5 African markets – Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal, and South Africa

MEST Africa Challenge (MAC), is a Pan-African start-up competition, for startups who are ready to scale and expand into new markets.

Launched with the aim of providing a stage for technology startups to raise funding, build industry networks and gain global visibility, the competition has grown to become a key establishment in Africa’s startup technology industry giving an unprecedented global platform to hundreds of entrepreneurs from all over Africa.

In its fourth year, MAC 2022 will call for technology startups in 5 African markets – Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal, and South Africa.

Finalists from each country will attend the MEST Africa Demo Day in Accra, Ghana on December 1st, 2022 where they will once again compete on a global stage for up to US$ 50,000 in equity investment and the opportunity to join the MEST Portfolio and global community.

2022 MEST Africa Challenge

2022 MEST Africa Challenge


August 31, 2022
Program dates Oct 1 - Dec 1, 2022
Organizer MEST Africa
Website Visit website
Targets Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa
Agritech, Clean technology and energy, Computer software, Creative, media and entertainment, E-commerce, EdTech, Fashion, Fintech, HealthTech, HR and recruitment, ICT, Legal services, Marketing and PR, Natural gas utilities, Real estate, Software as a Service

Eligibility criteria

  • Pre-seed or seed-stage (have raised $100k total or less cumulatively since inception)
  • Currently generating revenue
  • Can demonstrate traction in one or more of the five MEST Africa Challenge Markets (Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa)
  • Has been in operation for 2 years or less
  • Tech-enabled (software company)
  • Industry agnostic
  • Any business model (B2B, B2C, B2B2C, B2G etc…)
  • English only pitches *Francophone applicants must pitch in English

Regional final dates

Selected companies for this year’s MEST Africa Challenge country finals will be notified by 30th September. Shortlisted companies will pitch on the following dates:

  • 4th October – MAC Ghana (Accra)
  • 6th October – MAC Nigeria (Lagos)
  • 11th October – MAC Kenya (Nairobi)
  • 13th October – MAC South Africa (Cape Town)
  • 14th October – MAC Senegal (Dakar)

*All regional pitches will be held virtually 


  • Application opens 29th July 2022 – 31st August 2022
  • Shortlisting and review of Applications – Rolling basis
  • All regional Finalists will be communicated by 9th September 2022
  • Regional Finals will take place from 1st October 2022 to 15th October 2022
    * Winner of the Regional Finals will be announced on the day of the event
  • Final Demo Day – 1st December 2022 in Accra
    * Regional Final winners will be flown to Accra at the end of November 2022 for the final pitch competition
  • The winner of MAC will be announced the same day

For inquiries, please email us at mac@meltwater.org


The Regional Finals will occur in Accra, Lagos, Dakar, Cape Town and Nairobi. The pitch location for regionals will be shared closer to the date.

Each pitch will last for 5 minutes with 5 minutes of Q&A. Startups must include a live demo of their product during pitches.

Winners will be announced at the end of each competition day.

All pitches and Q&A will be made in English.

Yes. Both the Regional Finals and Final Demo Day will be physical events.

Regional Finalists will be fully sponsored with travel to and from Accra, housing, and transport for the final pitch day on December 1, 2022. Regional finalists should plan to arrive in Accra at the end of November 2022.

3-4 days. Regional Finalists will arrive in Accra 2 days before the competition and will depart on 2nd December 2022.

Note: The winner will be expected to stay in Accra for a longer duration, about 5-6 days total.

Pitch readiness sessions will only be organized for Regional Finalists preparing for the final Demo Day.

You’re eligible to apply if your company is based in one or more of the 5 countries where we will hold the Regional Finals (Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Kenya)

$50,000 in equity investment, access to MEST Portfolio resources and strategic partnerships, 1-year professional business coaching in addition to other benefits and prizes for the main winner and Regional Finalists.

A pre-seed or seed stage tech-enabled or software company that is currently generating income and has been in operation for 2 years or under. The company must be able to demonstrate traction in at least one of the 5 MAC countries (Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Kenya).