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Tech startups in Francophone West Africa to get a boost

Suguba, in partnership with Mercy Corps and the French Development Agency (AFD) – is organizing their second 6-month investment readiness program in West Africa to support the 8 most promising startups in the digital sector in Francophone West Africa.

Suguba means Big Marketplace in Mande, a group of local languages spoken across West Africa. SUGUBA is a disruptive platform providing both “hardware” (office & events spaces) and “software” (TA and BDS programs) to “missing middle”​ entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs. SUGUBA is focused on enterprises run by youth and women. SUGUBA is fostering regional integration and regional trade in Francophone West Africa.

L’Afrique Excelle, the francophone adaptation of the World Bank’s XL Africa ( tech accelerator, was Suguba’s first acceleration program.

The programme which took place in 2018/2019 aimed to connect francophone startups across the continent with mentors and investors.

Afrique Excelle had enabled 18 of the top 20 startups in French-speaking Sub-Saharan Africa to raise funds for a total amount of approximately US$10M, making it a total success.

Afrikhaliss is aimed at digital startups with impactful solutions for local and regional value chains.

The program targets companies that already have a product or service on the market and are generating revenues. However, applications from companies not yet generating revenue will also be considered.

Eligible companies generate at least 75% of their turnover in one or more of the following markets in Francophone West Africa: Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Guinea Conakry, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger and Senegal.

It is a sector-agnostic platform looking for later-stage digital solutions with services or products available on the market now.

Entrepreneurs will be mentored by international and local experts, trained through a tailor-made program, increase their brand visibility and have access to potential partners and investors.

Also read: Insights: Mentoring and Funding Startups in Africa (VIDEO)

Through its collaboration with leading investors with a focus on Francophone Africa, Afrikhaliss will help the selected start-ups attract capital.

This year’s program will take place in two virtual or physical residences, in Senegal, depending on the evolution of the health situation, and in Côte d’Ivoire.

Flagship activities include two one-week residential training sessions in Dakar (Senegal) and another in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop their professional network and learn from mentors, peers and local and international partners.

The residential training in Dakar will conclude with a pitch that will take place during the second edition of the Francophone Africa Investment Summit where entrepreneurs will present their start-ups to a large audience of new technology experts, investors, large companies, experts and media.

The program has as partners leading investment funds and business angels active in Francophone Africa.

Interested companies can apply online at , no later than June 19, 2020.

The Afrikhaliss program was initiated by Suguba and Mercy Corps, with financial support from the French Development Agency and is implemented by Suguba in partnership with Village Capital, Impact Hub Dakar and Impact Hub Abidjan.

Source: Taarifa Rwanda

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