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Startup - November 14, 2022

8 African Startups Receive Climate-focused Grants from GSMA

The Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) Innovation Fund has announced the eight African startups that would be the recipients of this year’s grant. 

The plan is to foster Climate Resilience and Adaptation, which aims to speed up the testing, adoption, and scalability of digital innovations that enable the world’s most vulnerable populations to adapt to, anticipate, and absorb the negative impacts of climate change.

The GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation awards also give other forms of assistance to profit small and developing businesses that use digital technology, particularly mobile, to create climate resilience and adaptation solutions for low-income and vulnerable communities.

Solutions for climate adaptation and resilience are those that support the development of institutional, community, and human capacity.

The GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation, which was established a year ago, is the association’s most recent project after several other targeted ones in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.

The fund’s goal is to support initiatives that help low-income and vulnerable communities better prepare for, cope with, or absorb shocks or pressures related to the environment. 

The GSMA received the most proposals in this round’s history, with 524 innovations from 70 different nations requesting funding. In the end, 11 firms were chosen to receive grant funding, eight of which were from Africa.


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More on the startups picked 

Three of the startups selected are from Nigeria: Crop2Cash, which offers access to agri-insurance and climate-smart farming content through a mobile app, and Hello Tractor, which uses weather and historical tractor service demand data to model and optimise tractor service provision. 

While CoAmana which farmers use to access markets buy seeds resistant to drought and access information on best practices and financial services.

The other chosen African startups are Kenya’s Aquarech, which uses mobile technology and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to enable market access and create an inclusive aquaculture value chain. 

There is also Egypt’s BENAA, which uses IoT to help turn wastewater into irrigation water, Ethiopia’s Lersha, a one-stop advisory service for smallholder farmers, Liberia’s J-Palm, which gives access to ecological information for local harvesters, and Tanzania’s Simusolar, which sustains fish populations.

Other startups are based in the Philippines, Pakistan, and Nepal.

“In catalysing these digital solutions, we hope to generate insights from innovative use-cases, partnerships and business models to improve the sustainability and scalability of digital climate resilience solutions,” the GSMA said.

Over the term of the funding, the GSMA will assist these entrepreneurs in growing and realising their full potential in order to support initiatives to increase climate resilience. 

This will be accomplished by fostering partnerships with mobile operators and public sector organisations, offering technical assistance on how to reach and better serve communities most vulnerable to climate change, providing tools, templates, and expert advisory support on how to demonstrate socioeconomic and climate impact and promote product improvement, and providing opportunities to raise their visibility to potential investors and partners.

“In doing so, the GSMA seeks to support this cohort of innovators to realise their full potential and help improve the lives of people vulnerable to climate risks.”


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