At VivaTech, the French want to better meet the needs of African tech



Seen from African stands, French tech support programs are a bit vague, confides this Senegalese start-up: “ You have to go through different agencies. We don’t really know who does what, at what level, I admit it’s a bit confusing “.

A general observation that has motivated supporters of African tech to make their institutions and programs more legible. Since June 1, Digital Africa has joined Proparco, the AFD subsidiary dedicated to the private sector.

“For us, what is interesting is that once the entrepreneur is launched – then, in all stages of his life -, he can find by going to public representations of cooperation in Africa a solution to his problem. And it is really a change of approach in this vision centered on the needs of the user that we want to work with Proparco in the coming years”, explains Stéphan-Eloïse Gras, the director of Digital Africa.

By becoming a subsidiary of Proparco, the objective is to have an entity to contact: a sort of one-stop shop. Then be able to be directed to the right entity and the right program.

Pre-priming, priming, that’s really Digital Africa that will play this role, with support from the French public authorities in terms of financing. And then the success stories that will be supported by Proparco in its various components with tickets that will start at around 500,000 euros. The idea is to support them, to finance them, because we believe that supporting these African tech entrepreneurs is good for African youth, it’s good for jobs in Africa and that’s good for almost all sectors of the real economy today, which should in fact benefit from the innovations of tech “says Françoise Lombard CEO Proparco.

It is also about ensuring a continuum and not leaving entrepreneurs unanswered

“Today we are 90% funded by public money. We have a responsibility as an organization to be able to ensure that an entrepreneur, who fails on a program on which he applies for a funding ticket, can find an opportunity elsewhere. And once again, it is thanks to digital and data that we hope to be able to reinforce this. So, very concretely, this means precisely avoiding that we forget some on the side of the road, and that there are some who find themselves knocking on a door for days and nights without ever getting an answer, “adds Stéphan. -Eloise Gras.

In September, a new €20,000 small ticket financing fund – Fusée – will be launched for 200 entrepreneurs in French-speaking Africa.

Read also: The French show VivaTech begins its climate transition, but forgets ecology

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