According to the World Bank, this increasing urbanisation holds much potential for the continent, as it can result in economic growth and poverty reduction. At the same time, it holds the risk of aggravating inequality and urban poverty. Therefore, concrete action to direct Africa’s urban transformation in terms of the SDGs is needed.
The good news is that entrepreneurs continue to innovate in interesting ways to deal with issues that have plagued the African continent for so long such as poverty and poor housing. It is no doubt that the quality of living for many people has improved over the past few years.
The Smart Cities Innovation Programme (SCIP) supports 30 selected start-ups that will benefit from individual mentoring, training as well as intensive networking and matchmaking with international business partners.
It also involves investors such as Volkswagen, Siemens, Viktoria Ventures, and the African Business Angels Network (ABAN). Both the partners & investors bring on board highly specialised technical expertise, build the start-ups’ networks and participate, along with other ecosystem players, in the demo days in Kigali.
SCIP has been set up to support the growth of digital urban innovations in Rwanda and beyond. It is in collaboration with the Rwandan government, the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation and the Tech-Entrepreneurship Initiative ‘Make-IT in Africa’ implemented by GIZ.
SCIP aims at accelerating start-ups that have:
New technology-led solutions to enable people and goods to be transported within and between communities. Their target topics include:
Cleantech & Smart Housing:
Housing and in-home solutions that are focused on the future, innovative, and seek to expand access to affordable housing. This may include things like:
Fintech for Affordability:
Seeking ways in which financial technology can be deployed to make the various smart solutions affordable to different market segments. The financial solutions are typically credit, savings, investment, remittance and insurance solutions. Examples include payment enablement for mobility services or utilities; micro-mortgage; smart contracts; voucher systems.
To apply to the Smart Cities Innovation Programme (SCIP), please fill in the application form before Sunday, 23rd of May.
Note: If your application is selected, you will be invited to provide further information about your business and participate in an interview.
Featured image courtesy - SCIP.