Call for African Start-Ups: AEDIB NET Africa-Europe Partnership Programme

The initial stage in a more comprehensive strategy for the African-European partnership on digitalization and innovation is AEDIB|NET: Bridging Digital Innovation Ecosystems across Africa and Europe. The project was started as part of the larger political movement AEDIB. initiated by the European Commission’s Digital 4 Development programme and EU Member States (France, Belgium, and Germany) (D4D).

AEDIB|NET, funded by the Horizon 2020 program of the European Commission and directed by GIZ in Germany, brings together a network of powerful partners from the African and European innovation ecosystems with the following goals:

INSPIRE: Create a supportive innovation policy framework for innovation, increase the capacity of marginalized people, and improve digital and entrepreneurial skills via a “Digital Entrepreneur Skills Academy” to inspire ecosystem actors.

CREATE: Establishing African Digital Innovation Hubs (ADIHs), a Digital Hub Lab, online marketplaces with virtual communities, and investor networks will create digital innovation. The four areas of focus for the ADIHs are clean technology, smart cities, climate-smart agriculture, and digital trade.

CONNECT: Establish transnational connections that link start-ups, SMEs, DIHs, the diaspora, and other African and European ecosystem actors in order to promote intercontinental cooperation and the development of a single digital innovation ecosystem.

The European Business and Innovation Centre Network (EBN), on behalf of the AEDIB|NET consortium, is seeking 100 start-up companies to join in one of the two Virtual Partnership Programmes run by two innovation centers (one in Africa and one in Europe), as part of the AEDIB|NET project.

The virtual partnership program will be created with fundamental components that the 50 start-ups in each area will share and with components that are specially built to address needs that have been identified in each group’s businesses. The program is intended to last for six months. The typical sessions will cover subjects like:

  • Business development
  • Start-up management
  • Strategic planning
  • Access to finance AND credit and fundraising
  • Networking sessions
  • Sustainability
  • Internationalization
  • European Union EU funding
  • IPR, patent and certification
  • Culture training
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Small groups will focus on sector-specific issues, trends, best practices, key players, and sessions with DIHs knowledgeable about each of the AEDIB|NET sectors will also be available.

The following principles will serve as the foundation for the Virtual Partnership Program:

  • Capacity-building
  • Peer-learning
  • Problem-solving
  • Learning-by-doing
  • Share experiences and best practices

The programs’ ultimate goal is to give startups the opportunity to participate in learning and knowledge-sharing activities. In order to increase the capacity of tech start-ups and to support the connections between the Digital Innovation Ecosystems in Europe and Africa, it will also be encouraged to link and match tech entrepreneurs, innovation partners, and intermediaries (such as hubs, entrepreneurship supporters, networks, and academia).

Conditions for Eligibility

The start-ups should be legitimately founded by the applicable laws in their nation and have the means to substantiate that status, if necessary. Additionally, they must be associated with one of the project’s focus areas or in the process of creating a good or service that may be used in any of these industries:

  • Climate Smart Agriculture
  • Smart Cities
  • Digital Trade
  • Clean Tech


African start-ups have to be based in some of the countries where some of the DIHs already selected in the project are located:

  1. Cameroon
  2. Côte D’Ivoire
  3. Egypt
  4. Kenya
  5. Morocco
  6. Rwanda
  7. Senegal
  8. South Africa
  9. Tanzania
  10. Tunisia
  11. Uganda


The Partnership Program and the Bootcamps will have entirely English-language content.

Selection Method:

Please respond to the following survey at

as completely as you can before January 29th, 2023 at 23:59 h.
The suggestions will be reviewed by a committee, and during the week of February 13th, those chosen to take part in the program will be made public. The first meeting, or kick-off session, will take place on March 1 and will cover all the specifics of the six-month program.

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For Additional Information Visit Official Webpage of the AEDIB|NET Africa-Europe Partnership Programme Call for Start-Ups

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