French Agency for Development (AFD) Digital Energy Challenge For African Start-ups 2024 (Up To70,000€ Prize)

In the year in 2021, the Digital Energy Facility introduced the Digital Energy Challenge as a four-year initiative, inviting project submissions on an annual basis.

French Agency for Development (AFD) Digital Energy Challenge For African
French Agency for Development (AFD) Digital Energy Challenge For African

The main objective of this Challenge is to provide assistance and encouragement to the creation of inventive solutions that have the potential to enhance energy accessibility, foster seamless integration of renewable energy sources, and optimize the efficiency of energy operators.


Every year, the Challenge will select and fund 2 to 3 collaborative projects between utilities and technology/service providers, as well as 5 to 8 start-up projects. With an annual budget of €1.8 million, these projects will receive grant-based funding, technical support, and strategic guidance.

The Challenge winners can gain the following benefits:

  • A financial contribution in the form of a grant to cover expenses like equipment and software purchases, start-up recruitment costs, training costs, and technology/service provider expenses for utilities’ products/services purchases
  • Technical support will be provided to utilities and start-up businesses on an individual basis, offering assistance with project management, strategic planning, technical expertise, and accounting and reporting.
  • A bootcamp facilitated by multidisciplinary experts to assist with project implementation, promote collaboration between winners, and exchange of best practices
  • Increased project visibility via widespread social media communication campaigns conducted by AFD during the selection and award ceremony phases, as well as at the bootcamp, and for a period following those events.

 Eligibility Requirements

  • The Call for Projects in 2024 is specifically aimed at projects situated in Africa and owned by the following entities:
  • Start-ups that are either in the pre-seed phase or have recently begun their operations. NGOs can also apply in the Start-up category, with further information available on the eligibility criteria for Start-ups.
  • Public utilities, which include public power utilities and public Independent System Operators. Also, private companies operating under a public service concession, power pools, regional organizations, energy regulators, and rural electrification authorities can apply in partnership with technology or service providers.
  • The project scope for both Start-ups and Utilities categories should focus on one of three themes:
  • Universal electricity Efficient grid
  • Resilience and decarbonization of access and mini-grids
  • Management power systems
  • Projects are required to incorporate a fundamental aspect of digital technology, such as telecom, computer, or cloud-based systems. Moreover, these projects should demonstrate innovation, either in their inherent nature or in their relevance to the local market or country.
  • project management activities should be conducted locally in the country where the project is based.
  • Eligible countries include Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

 How To Apply

Click here to apply for The Digital Energy Challenge for Start-ups.

Click here to apply for The Digital Energy Challenge for Utilities.

For More Information visit the Official Website m of the French Agency for Development (AFD) Digital Energy Challenge 

Application Deadline

May 15, 2024.



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