Business Insights

Afrilabs Reflects on 2023 and Charts the Course Ahead

Throughout our 2023 journey, we have overcome obstacles, rejoiced in accomplishments, and above all, played a significant role in shaping the revolutionary landscape of innovation throughout the continent. Our united goal of establishing a prosperous innovation economy in Africa, fueled by the strength of our community, has led us to extraordinary accomplishments.

As part of our strategic goals for the next three years, AfriLabs will be implementing a range of projects and programs to support innovation and entrepreneurship in various sectors. These include education, blue economy, green economy, creative tech, digital infrastructures, investment and capital markets, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and gender and inclusion, among others. If any of these areas interest you, please let us know.

In 2023, we achieved several milestones, including expanding our network from 400 hubs in 52 countries to 460 hubs in 53 African countries. We also formed strategic partnerships and signed MoUs with impactful organizations such as the US Department of States, Algeria Venture, and UN Women to strengthen the African innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

We launched the AfriLabs Connect Deal Room (ACDR), a platform initiative that provides a pipeline of de-risked and investable startups on the AfriLabs Connect Platform (AfriConnect). Additionally, we introduced The RevUp Women Programme, an enterprise development program aimed at supporting 50,000 early-stage women-led startups in Africa and unlocking $100 million in financing over the next three years. We received funding from the Visa Foundation for a pilot and welcome other partners to join us in achieving this goal.

Furthermore, we unveiled the Working Mother’s Guide, a resource designed to support working mothers in the technology and innovation sector. We also hosted the arTech Lagos event, which aimed to bridge the gap between creatives and the African Innovation ecosystem.

Lastly, we had the honor of hosting the 8th AfriLabs Annual Gathering in Kigali, Rwanda from October 11th to 13th, 2023.

We have made a significant impact on thousands of entrepreneurs, innovators, and hub managers throughout Africa. Through our partnership with esteemed organizations like the African Union (AU), Intel, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the French Development Agency, Digital Africa, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), African Development Bank (AfDB), and many others, we have successfully implemented over 24 programs across various sectors. Some notable programs include the AfriLabs Capacity program, Catalytic Africa, Youth Adapt Challenge, AU Digital and Innovation Fellowship Program (AU Tech), UNFPA Incubation Program, ONEPlanET, and Greenovation.

Looking ahead, we are excited to announce that in the first quarter of 2024, we will be sharing a comprehensive annual impact report. This report will highlight the remarkable achievements of our community throughout 2023.

We are thrilled to share the exciting news that the 9th edition of the AfriLabs Annual Gathering 2024 will be held in Cape Town, South Africa. Stay tuned for more information about the conference, including the dates, theme, and tracks, which will be revealed in the upcoming year.

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