Agence Francaise De Developpment (AFD) Digital Energy Challenge 2022

The Agence Francaise De Developpement (AFD) Digital Energy Challenge 2022 is now accepting applications.

AFD Digital Energy Challenge

The Digital Energy Challenge for Start-ups recognizes 5 to 8 businesses working on cutting-edge digital solutions in Africa that seek to enhance energy availability and grid performance.

The following are the three themes for the request for projects in 2022:

Universal electricity access through mini-grids energy management systems for optimal use of clean and renewable energy, storage systems and algorithms minimizing the use of fossil fuel generators, tools to facilitate interconnections with the main grid and with other mini-grids, systems and algorithms for building-up nanogrids, geospatial data analytics for power demand evaluation and/or credit risk assessment are all examples of digital innovations in the field of mini-grids to maximize their efficiency and impact.

Efficient grid management. All auxiliary services assure effective grid operation, with an emphasis on information availability and communication systems, as well as optimizing Business-As-Usual grid operational management methods.

Sustainable and cost-effective power systems. Additional renewables capacity, grid stability and flexibility, loss reduction, increased power availability, and service quality are all examples of digital-based solutions that enable the development of a greener, more flexible, and cost-effective power infrastructure (both generation units and grid).


The 5 to 8 winning start-ups from each yearly Call for Projects will get the following benefits:

  • Grant assistance to help with the expenses of equipment, software, training, and recruiting; financial support of up to €150K Project management help, strategic and technical knowledge, and accounting/reporting aid are examples of technical assistance (given on a case-by-case basis).
  • A multi-sectoral boot camp to enhance project execution, give sectoral insights, develop synergies among project winners, and encourage best-practice sharing.
  • AFD implemented extensive communication initiatives throughout the selection procedure, award ceremony, Bootcamp, and for a period after these events.

AFD Digital Energy Challenge | Eligibility Criteria

Start-ups and utilities are welcome to apply for the Call for Projects.

The following conditions must be met by the start-up:

  • Created less than 10 years ago
  • Be at the pre-seed/early-stage fundraising stage, i.e. have raised less than €1 million in the capital.
  • Annual revenue of less than €1 million
  • Employ between one and 99 full-time employees.
  • If the proposal fits one of the following extra requirements, NGOs may apply under the Startup category:
  • As a division of the NGO, the project has been established as a corporation.
    The initiative has its own staff and business strategy, and it focuses on long-term commercial viability and profitability (e.g. plans to spin off as an independent entity).
  • Finally, the startup’s project must fit into one of the three themes listed above, and it must be:
  • Digital, that is, based on telecommunications, computer, or cloud technology Innovative, either inherently or in comparison to the local market
  • Local, that is, based in the project’s country of origin or with project management operations there.

African Countries That Are Eligible

Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo Democratic Republic, Congo Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

How to Apply for the AFD Digital Energy Challenge

  • The Start-up Application Pack is available for download (email address required)
  • You can watch the webinar recording in English here or in French here.
  • Fill out the application form and gather the necessary documentation.

To apply, go to this link.

Deadline: April 30, 2022

Visit the Digital Energy Challenge for more information.

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