Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Digital Challenge 2019 (€20,000 prize)

Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Digital Challenge 2019 (€20,000 prize)

Deadline: November 18, 2019

Applications are open for the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Digital Challenge 2019. For the fourth consecutive year, the French Agency for Development commits alongside high impact digital actors in Africa. For this new edition, the AFD Digital Challenge wish to combine the challenge of digital transition with that of sustainable cities, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG).

Challenge Description

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.


  • Creation of Quality Urban Services: The development of digital tools that focus on creating or improving sustainable and efficient public services

    • Waste collection services
    • Innovative urban transportation
    • Access to water etc.
  • Urban Planning for the Most Vulnerable: The use of digital technology to improve the knowledge of the city, facilitate the local decision making and improve the risk and disaster management.

    • Satellite imaging
    • Participatory or community mapping
    • Participatory alert system in the context of a health or environmental disaster etc
  • Stimulation of Local Economic Development: The development of digital services that stimulates local economic activity.

    • Urban tourism
    • Valorisation of an architectural or natural heritage
    • Agri-food sector in the city (product designations of origin, traceability, etc.)
  • Improving the Relationship between the Citizens and Local Authorities: Use of digital technology to improve exchanges between local authorities and citizens.

    • E-governance
    • E-government
    • Electronic Administration


  • Winner will receive €20,000;
  • International visibility;
  • A tailor-made support program “Acceleration pack”


  • Open to startups, associations, or research centers developing a digital solution that promotes the development of inclusive and sustainable cities in Africa and falls under one of the categories above.
  • They must be able to demonstrate the existence of a legal structure
  • Contribute to the development of modern, smart and sustainable cities
  • Leverage digital innovation as a development tool
  • Demonstrate the existence of a sustainable, self-sufficient business model
  • 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.


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.).

Click here to apply

For more information, visit AFD Digital Challenge.