Kigali Downtown

Smart Cities Innovation Programme launches call for applications

Start-ups from across Africa can apply until 23 May 2021

30 African tech start-ups in the fields of smart mobility, smart housing and fintech are invited to join an accelerator that helps them shape African cities of tomorrow.

The rate of urbanisation in Africa is the highest in the world. By 2030, 50% of Africans are predicted to be living in urban settings. According to the World Bank, this increasing urbanisation holds much potential for the continent, as it can result in economic growth and poverty reduction. At the same time, it holds the risk of aggravating inequality and urban poverty. Therefore, concrete action to direct Africa’s urban transformation in terms of the Sustainable Development Goals is needed.

In collaboration with the Rwandan government, Invest for Jobs and the Tech-Entrepreneurship Initiative “Make-IT in Africa” have set up the Smart Cities Innovation Programme (SCIP) to support the growth of digital urban innovations in Rwanda and beyond.

The programme’s six-month accelerator is aimed at supporting high-potential tech start-ups from Rwanda and other African countries operating in the field of smart cities. The programme is divided into three tracks - smart mobility, smart housing & and fintech for affordability – supporting ten start-ups each.

With the call for applications officially open until the 9th of May, start-ups can now land a spot in the programme and benefit from individual mentoring, training as well as intensive networking and matchmaking with international business partners and investors.

SCIP is implemented in collaboration with various partners — Volkswagen, Siemens and the African Business Angels Network (ABAN) among others — to bring in highly specialised technical expertise and to build the networks with start-ups. This start-ups will also be able to use Green City Kigali, Rwanda’s flagship smart city project, as a real application case to test their solutions and enter the Rwandan market.

For more information, please visit the Smart Cities Innovation Programme’s website. In case of questions, reach out to


We are looking forward to hearing from you

Under the Invest for Jobs brand, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has put together a package of measures to support German, European and African companies in investment activities that have a high impact on employment in Africa. The Special Initiative "Decent Work for a Just Transition" – the official title – offers comprehensive advice, contacts and financial support to overcome investment barriers. The development objective is to work together with companies to create up to 100,000 good jobs and to improve working conditions and social protection in its African partner countries.

Partner countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia.

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