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AgriTech4Egypt Innovation Challenge opens applications for tech-prenuers

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The 2024 edition of the AgriTech4Egypt Innovation Challenge has called for applications from tech-prenuers and purpose-driven scientists working on agri-tech solutions for a more sustainable, efficient, and climate-resilient agricultural system in Egypt.

A notice on the website of the organizers of the programme on Tuesday said the programme is designed to give participants an edge in validating and deploying agri-tech venture in Egypt

“We are looking for purpose-driven scientists and entrepreneurs working on agri-tech solutions for a more sustainable, efficient, and climate-resilient agricultural system in Egypt,” the notice said.

It added that the AgriTech4Egypt Innovation Challenge is designed specifically for early-stage agri-tech ventures in the north African country with a “minimum viable product (MVP) or proof of concept (POC), and plans to support and prepare them to build a solid go-to-market strategy through technical validation and access to the market.”

“We are looking for agri-tech innovations in priority areas such as digital agriculture and precision farming, agri-finance solutions, sustainable value chain development, capacity building tools, and efficient irrigation water management,” it said.

“Selected ventures will receive the tools and step-by-step support to build the foundations of an agri-tech venture for scalable growth in Egypt, benefitting from a fully funded, four-day immersive bootcamp, connecting with a network of partners and agribusinesses, accessing expert guidance from CGIAR scientists and industry experts, plus a sponsored six-month acceleration programme.

“They will also be able to test and validate their solution on the ground with end-users for up to six months, receive up to EGP300,000 (US$6,500) as an equity-free grant provided by ASRT, and gain exposure to investors and market opportunities.

“Applications are open until April 21, with the accelerator programme taking place between June and October, and a demo day set for November,” it added.

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Nigeria’s MAX partners Ghana’s Kofa in e-bike financing deal

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Nigeria’s electric vehicle solutions provider, MAX, has announced striking a partnership deal with Ghana’s innovator in energy networks, Kofa, that will see MAX offering financing options for over 2,000 revolutionary TailG Jidi bikes.

The bikes which are developed by Kofa in conjunction with TailG, a Chinese manufacturer, were launched in October last year and has been a big hit in the West African country.

A statement by MAX on Thursday, stated that the partnership marks a significant milestone in making green transportation more accessible in Africa.

“Max’s financing options for the motorbikes will enable more individuals and businesses to adopt eco-friendly transportation, aligning with both companies’ vision of a sustainable future,” it said.

“This collaboration between MAX and Kofa is a step towards a greener, more sustainable Africa.

“This partnership is poised to accelerate the transition to green energy and sustainable transportation in Africa,” the company said.

“The coming together of the two democratises access to vehicle ownership and electric mobility across Africa through a tech-driven platform that offers a spectrum of services, including subscription-based vehicle financing,cutting-edge electric vehicle options, and comprehensive support services.

“Kofa, meanwhile, is focused on creating affordable, sustainable, and customer-driven electricity networks, starting with electric motorcycles.

“The startup partnered TailG Group, a leading electric vehicle brand from China, to launch the Jidi electric motorcycle last October, and subsequently announced the planned launch of its second-generation Kore 2 Swap & Go network,” it added.

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African Guarantee Fund partners Nordic Development Fund to launch green finance in Nigeria

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The African Guarantee Fund (AGF) has teamed up with the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) to launch a green finance fund to tackle climate challenges in Nigeria.

The fund which was launched on Tuesday at the 9th Edition of the Green Finance Conference with the theme “The Role of Africa’s Private Sector in The Paris Agreement on Climate Change,” brought together representatives of the Nigerian government, senior executives of financial institutions, key regulatory-policy stakeholders, and Green SMEs to discuss green synergies.

According to the organisers of the event, the Green Finance Conference provided a platform for all stakeholders to “dialogue and showcase the many advantages that Green SMEs can contribute to the economy of Nigeria, while strengthening their understanding of AGF’s Green Guarantee Facility and how it enables banks on-lend to green and climate-smart projects.”

AGF Group Chief Executive Officer, Jules Ngankam, who delivered a keynote address, emphasized that the Green Finance Conference is a crucial response to the challenges posed by climate change within a framework of National Determined Contributions (NDC) with a focus on providing enhanced expertise to Africa while proposing practical solutions to addressing financing for smaller and medium-sized enterprises committed to green growth and climate-resilient development.

“Our aim is to support the banks to improve, increase or develop their green portfolios. Through the combination of our Green Guarantee and Capacity Development support, we are able to bridge the knowledge gap between both financial institutions and their customers,” he said.

“This is not only for the SMEs to understand how the lending process works, but also for the financial experts to learn how they can provide solutions tailored to suit the needs of the SMEs,” Jules said.

Managing Director of NDF, Satu Santala, who also spoke at the conference, said:

“We are committed to financing green and inclusive low-carbon and climate resilient growth of African economies to improve the livelihood of communities.

“Partnerships are at the core of NDF’s approach to climate finance and the African private sector plays a pivotal role in climate action and creating employment.”

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