AFD Digital Project Challenges 2019- For Development of Sustainable Cities in Africa
  • Fully Funded
  • Paris, Île-de-France, France

Description of the Challenge: The AFD is strongly committed to supporting sustainable cities, and, has also been involved since 2015 in supporting the digital transition of its partners. Thus, alongside the transformation of AFD into a digital lessor, a new dimension of intervention in favor of sustainable and intelligent cities is developing, built above all by multiple human energies using new technological tools.
One of the challenges of emerging and developing cities is therefore to embrace digital. As an acceleration factor for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, digital tools offer powerful opportunities for urban development. Efficiency of urban services, transparency of local administration, increased participation, attractiveness of the territory, better planning and risks prevention in the city, management of open data, all these factors making it
possible to overcome the fantasy of an automated city focused on solutions to serve the general interest.
As part of the Digital Challenge, AFD wants to support young entrepreneurs in Africa using digital solutions to shape the sustainable cities of tomorrow.

What are sustainable cities?
The challenge rewards solutions found in one or more of these four project categories: Creating quality urban services: Your solution integrates digital tools to help local authorities improve the efficiency and quality of essential services to people. These tools can, for example, offer the following services:

  • Waste management
    • Bucket fill rate sensors, collection points, landfills.
    • Geolocation of points of sale, recycling or resale of waste.
    • GPS on trucks to optimize collection circuits based on traffic.
    • Pre-collection services on demand, door-to-door via SMS or application.
    • Mobile or automatic payment of fees or collection service.
    • Pricing by weight at the time of collection via connected scales.
    • Sorting at the source prompted by communication campaigns and points.
    • Waste reporting systems, wild dumps, full dumpsters.
  • Urban mobility systems
    • GPS mapping and data collection of artisanal lines and stops.
    • Real time information on the hours of passage and / or stops on the phone.
    • Integrated ticketing on card or phone with (pre) mobile payment.
    • Geolocation of stations or kiosks selling tickets.
    • Control of the respect of the speed of circulation.
    • Applications to track traffic, accidents, car parks.
    • Applications encouraging intermodal integration of journeys.
    • Development of shared services (carpooling) or on demand.
    • Computerized tracking of fleet status and maintenance deadlines.
    • User feedback, votes and online reviews on quality of service and driving.
    • You can also offer digital solutions to reduce water or energy consumption.

Planning for the most vulnerable: Your solution incorporates digital tools that can be used to improve city knowledge, facilitate local decision-making, and improve risk and disaster management. The limits of urban and spatial planning, in particular for the most precarious neighbourhoods, originate from a lack of information and urban data on these territories.
Digital technology can help improve the development of the territory through several tools:

  • Predictive models of how the city changes crossing satellite imagery, weather forecasts and topography studies. On this basis, the municipality can model
    contingencies, predict natural disasters and their impact, locate at risk infrastructure and equipment, sketch population relocation scenarios.
  • Participatory or community mapping exercises, often conducted with backing from NGOs, universities or donors. In this way, inhabitants of precarious neighbourhoods can generate digital maps, or even geographic information systems on residential areas neglected by urban planning. These maps can take account of representations and actual uses, as well as report on emergencies or needs expressed by the inhabitants.
  • The coverage of fundamental management and planning data. The land and property registry can be revisited by simple digital tools to help the city to better investigate the requests made, design functional zoning, prohibit urban development on certain sites, inventory the plots that are under-used and can be
    re-purposed, etc.

Stimulate local economic development: Your solution promotes digital services that can contribute to traditional economic development by increasing business productivity, improving infrastructure operations, fostering innovation and enhancing the attractiveness of the city (tourism or protection heritage). Your solution can offer digital tools:

  • At the service of urban tourism development for the actors of the sector, for a municipality, and for visitors
  • Serving the enhancement of an architectural or natural heritage (within interpretation center, connected panels, commented courses, augmented reality)
  • Enabling the development of the agri-food sector in the city (product designations of origin, traceability, real-time info on the prices of fruits and vegetables for wholesalers …)
  • Serving an industrial sector specializing in a territory (textile, wood, etc …)

Relationships between local authorities and citizens: Embracing digital technology to improve exchanges between local authority and citizens is a strategic political commitment. Your solution adopts digital tools to raise social demands: civic technology. Engaging in the digital sphere means entering a virtuous circle characterized by improving the quality of services, for example by making it easier for citizens to report problems, transparency and accountability. Developing exchanges between citizens and local authorities leads to greater trust and greater willingness on the part of users to contribute financially. The capacities of public action are thus reinforced. Digital technology can lead to change in three dimensions:

  • Electronic administration: optimization of the administrative functioning via the dematerialization of internal procedures, the digitization of process of treatment and follow-up
  • E-government: Improve public access to information through a web platform; allowing greater transparency on local projects, better access to public services, etc …;
  • E-governance: Facilitate the participation of citizens in public decisions and policies through digital tools, to consult citizens on local decisions for example, but also to receive and study proposals from citizens.





  • 20 000 €
  • International Visibility
  • A tailor-made support program “Acceleration pack”


Terms and Conditions of the Challenge: 

  • Demonstrate the existence of a legal structure: the Challenge is opened to any structure established in one or several countries on the African continent,. Participants will have to deliver a certificate of registration dated less than six (6) months before the date of submission of their application and certify that they are in compliance with the social and fiscal legislation which he is subject to. If applicable, all the Participants’ shareholders will have to be clearly identified thanks to the signature by the Participant of a schema of its ownership structure.
  • Contribute to the development of modern, smart and sustainable cities: Eligible projects are entrepreneurial projects, managed by women and/or men, having a positive impact on urban services management, planning for the most vulnerable, local economic development and/or relationships between local authorities and citizens.
  • Leverage digital innovation as a development tool: technologic or digital innovation can be at the core of the project value proposition or be a significative component of its value chain. Either way, digital innovation should be used as a mean to leverage and amplify the impact of the project.
  • Demonstrate the existence of a sustainable, self-sufficient business model: are eligible, without discrimination, entrepreneurial structures demonstrating a competitive business model and activity (companies, cooperatives, etc). Applications submitted by associations, NGOs, research centres and other non-profits will be considered as eligible if demonstrating the existence of a formalized business model allowing the project to become economically autonomous.
  • Submit a complete application, in compliance with the provisions of the present Rules:
    Participation to the Challenge implies the submission by the Participants of deliverables providing answers to the problematic previously described, and in compliance with the Challenge’s rules, as laid down in the present Rules.
  • Avoid any conflict of interest: Staff members from the AFD or from any other organization taking part in the implementation of the Challenge and/or in its promotion, as well as their family members, cannot apply to the Challenge.
  • Submit a unique application: only one application to the Challenge per Participant will be accepted.
  • Non-compliance with the terms and conditions: Any Participant failing to meet the conditions of this Article during registration or at any time throughout the duration of the Challenge will be disqualified from the Challenge as of right and without prior notice and will not be the recipient of any award as set forth under Article 14 (hereinafter the “Award”). In the event an Award is given to a Participant not meeting the terms and conditions of participation during registration or at any time throughout the duration of the Challenge, the
  • Organisers and Service Provider reserve the right to demand the Participant returns attends the Award received.
Eligible Regions: African Countriesa

Application Process

Details of the Application phase:

  • The application phase will take place from September 30th, 2019 at 00:01 until November 18th, 2019 at 23:59.
  • Participants will submit their application to the Challenge via the online application form accessible to the public on the website and described under the Article 5 of the present Rules. Participants having submitted a complete online application form will receive an electronic mail confirming its application to the Challenge.
    The online application form has two components:
    ● An administrative component, concerning the Participant’s administrative and legal
    details (corporate name, date of creation, governance, etc.).
    ● A descriptive component, concerning the qualitative details of the entrepreneurial project showcased by the Participant as part of the Challenge (corporate purpose, revenues, description of the service.s/product.s offered, etc.).
  • Any online application form providing inaccurate or incomplete information will not be considered and will lead to the Participant’s disqualification.
  • The Organiser will only accept and consider Deliverables submitted by Participants by the deadline and in compliance with the Regulation requirements. Participants agree to respond to any request for information or proof from the Organisers or the Service Provider.
  • No electronic application form submission will be accepted after November 18th, 2019 at 23:59.

Application Deadline: November 18, 2019

Application ClosedOfficial link

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For more details please visit the Official Link
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