Seventy-one startups from across Africa have been named regional winners at this year’s Global Startup Awards (GSA) Africa (www.GlobalStartupAwardsAfrica.com) – the largest, independent startup ecosystem competition on the continent. Twenty three African countries are represented in the line-up of regional winners.
The 2022/23 season attracted 8,272 entries from all 54 African states, resulting in 71 regional winners being named across the Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western, and Central Africa competitions.
Launched in 2021, GSA Africa is a platform dedicated to showcasing and scaling Africa's most promising startups. This year’s competition focused on solutions in agriculture, climate change, commerce, education, healthcare, and mobility & logistics, with particular interest in startups championing Web3.0 technologies, sustainable business models, green innovation, and diversity in the workplace.
The competition saw entrants first compete at a national level before vying for their spot as a regional finalist. Winners were then decided by an independent panel of judges, offering a wholistic view of the African tech-ecosystem.
In the Northern Africa competition, thirteen startups from Egypt were named winners, followed by finalists from Morocco and Tunisia. Similar results were seen in Southern Africa, where South African startups secured eleven awards, while the remaining titles went to entrants from Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Namibia.
Meanwhile, Eastern Africa saw Kenyan startups walk away with seven titles, as those from Uganda secured three, Ethiopia with two, and startups from Mauritius, Rwanda, and Tanzania also claiming awards. In Western Africa, Nigerian startups scooped up six awards, followed by three winners from Ghana. Additional winners came from Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Senegal, and Benin.
Central African startups had a strong presence this year, with innovators from Cameroon earning five titles and those from the Democratic Republic of Congo winning four. Winners from the Congo and Gabon were also recognised.
From Algeria to South Africa, Senegal to Somalia, and everywhere in between – 34 percent of this year’s entrants were tackling green innovation
All 71 regional winners will now advance to the Continental Finals of the GSA Africa competition, where they will compete to be crowned an African winner. This final group of startups will join the GSA Grand Finale where they will have the opportunity to showcase their solutions alongside some of the world’s top entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and ecosystem enablers.
In March 2023, two African startups were named Global Winners at last season’s Grand Finale. Competing against more than 120 companies from 115 countries, Ethiopian green-tech startup, Kubik, was recognised as ‘Startup of the Year’, while the Ugandan fintech, Emata, was proclaimed ‘Best Newcomer’.
African winners will have the exclusive opportunity to engage with the Global Innovation Initiative Group (GIIG) www.GIIG.Africa, the competition's dedicated investment partner. Through its GIIG Africa Fund and the GIIG Africa Foundation, the organisation aims to find, fund and grow globally relevant African innovation.
Reflecting on this year’s regional winners, GSA Africa and GIIG co-founder, Jo Griffiths, says: “With 747 finalists across all five regions, this year’s competition did not disappoint! Our panel of judges were blown away by the quality and diversity of solutions from all corners of the continent, that are actively working to solve some of our greatest challenges. It was particularly interesting to note that – from Algeria to South Africa, Senegal to Somalia, and everywhere in between – 34 percent of this year’s entrants were tackling green innovation. These startups are proof that Africa is the tech continent of the future.”
The announcement took place at the launch edition of GITEX Africa 2023 in Marrakech, Morocco, this week. GITEX Africa 2023 is the biggest gathering of innovation stakeholders on the continent, bringing together global leaders in the public, private and civil sectors to spur the adoption of next-gen technology in Africa.
Speaking from GITEX Africa 2023 was GSA Africa and GIIG co-founder, Caitlin Nash, who remarked that: “These winners represent the top startups in both their home country and region - and it’s all the more significant that we announce them here in Morocco, the industrial powerhouse of Africa. This competition is all about building global bridges between our continent’s most exceptional solutions and the people, markets and communities where they can make the most significant impact. In that vein, this event has been the ideal launch pad for these startup’s global ambitions, and we’re excited to help take them to the world.”
For a full list of this year’s regional winners, go to www.GlobalStartupAwardsAfrica.com
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of GITEX Africa.