2023 French Government AFD Digital Challenge For African Startups

The French Government AFD Digital Challenge For African Startups is dedicated to digital technology for cultural and creative industries.


The Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) are not only a place for entertainment, they are also a major lever for economic and social development.

The role of these industries goes beyond their mere potential for wealth creation, as they actively participate in strengthening social cohesion, inclusion, the valorisation of African cultures and the emancipation of citizens.


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AFD Group continues to strengthen its support for African start-ups and digital players for the sixth consecutive year.

Since 2016, the annual objective of the AFD Digital Challenge has been to identify these projects, promote them and accelerate their development.

Requirements for 2023 French Government AFD Digital Challenge:

To be considered for the program, you must take note of the following:

  • Your digital project involves one of the six main sectors of activity of the Cultural and Creative Industries (mentioned above)
  • Your project offers a digital solution to one of the following three challenges
    1. Transformation of the modes of production and consumption of cultural and creative goods and services
    2. Enhancing the value of African cultural heritage and legacies
    3. Promotion of inclusive access to cultural and creative content
  • Your project is currently in the seed phase (prototyping or beginning of commercialization with an indicative annual turnover of 0 to 18 000€), or in the acceleration phase (economic model and user market established with an indicative annual turnover of 18 000 to 250 000€/year
  • Your project has a legal structure based in one or more African countries
  • Your project has a sustainable and autonomous economic model
  • Digital technology is at the heart of your solution


All projects submitted must respect both the six targeted sectors and the three transversal issues mentioned below:

The six principal  sectors of activity of the Cultural and Creative Industries

  1. Cultural and natural heritage: museums, historical places, archaeological sites, cultural landscapes, natural heritage
  2. Performing arts and festivities: performing arts, live music, dance, festivals, fairs and celebrations
  3. Visual arts and crafts: fine arts, photography, crafts
  4. Books and press: books, newspapers, magazines, libraries, book fairs
  5. Audiovisual and interactive media: film, TV and radio, streaming, podcasts, video games
  6. Design and creative services: architecture, fashion design, graphic design, interior design, advertising.


  • Seed Funding for your project
  • Funding for Project Development Phase
  • International Visibility
  • Customized Support

How To Apply

Interested and qualified applicants should apply using the link below.

The Participant shall submit his/her application to the Challenge by means of the electronic application form accessible to the public on the website and described in Article 5 of these Rules. A Participant who has submitted a complete electronic application form will receive an e-mail confirming receipt of his/her application for the Challenge.

The electronic application form consists of two parts:

  • An administrative section, covering the administrative and legal nature of the Participant (company name, date of creation, governance, etc.).
  • A project section, focusing on the qualitative aspects of the entrepreneurial project put forward by the Participant in the framework of the Challenge (business purpose, turnover, description of the service/product, etc.).

The Application Deadline is 23rd February 2023

2023 French Government AFD Digital Challenge For African Startups


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