AFD Digital Energy Challenge 2024: €70,000 Prize for African Startups

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The Digital Energy Facility initiated the Digital Energy Challenge in 2021 for a duration of four years, with an annual call for projects. The aim of the Challenge is to support the advancement of innovative solutions that can enhance access to energy, facilitate the integration of renewable energies, and enhance the efficiency of energy operators.


The 2024 Call for Projects is directed towards projects located in Africa and owned by:

Eligible countries include:

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

The Challenge will annually recognize 2–3 partnership projects between utilities and technology/service providers, as well as 5–8 start-up projects. With a yearly budget of €1.8 million, this initiative will provide grant-based funding, technical support, and strategic guidance.

Winners of the Challenge can expect the following benefits:

  • Financial assistance in the form of grants for equipment and software procurement, training, recruitment expenses for start-ups, and procurement costs for technology and service providers associated with utilities.
  • Technical support tailored to the needs of all utilities and select start-ups, including project management assistance, strategic and technical expertise, and help with accounting and reporting.
  • Participation in a bootcamp facilitated by experts from various sectors to aid in project implementation, encourage collaboration between winners, and exchange best practices.
  • Enhanced visibility for the project through extensive social media campaigns led by AFD during the selection process, award ceremony, bootcamp, and beyond.


  • March 4, 2024: Launch of the Call for Projects
  • March 19, 2024: Information webinar
  • May 15, 2024 – 23:59 CET: Application submission deadline
  • Autumn 2024: Announcement of award recipients and bootcamp

For further details,

Application Deadline: May 15, 2024

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