Why AEDIB is important

Africa and Europe are neighbors and natural allies. Tightening our mutual relations, joining forces, and participating in each other’s development is a wonderful opportunity for both continents. The AEDIB project, happening from February 2021 to January 2024,  is an excellent example of how we can take advantage of this opportunity and both profit from it.
Africa is a continent with fewer legacy challenges and a younger population in comparison to Europe. This means that digitalisation is catching on faster: In fact, Africa is adopting digitalised solutions faster than any other region in the world. By joining Africa in this journey, Europe is in the privileged position to play a vital role in achieving sustainable growth.
In parallel, Africa can also benefit from our cooperation: Conducive ecosystems, human capital, infrastructures and equipment for R&D, risk capital and tech know-how are key pillars that Europe can help Africa build.
In short this is an incredible opportunity that can be beneficial for both continents. On the two continents, businesses will benefit by mutual transfer of knowledge and intelligence, by testing and scaling solutions in respective markets, by pooling resources and co-investing both cross border and with public partners.  

EBAN’s relationship with African is particularly important: We participated in the foundation of ABAN, the African Business Angel Network. Along with ABAN and a long list of partners on both continents (FundingBox, VC4A, MakeItAfrica, Civitta, Smart Africa, Enabel Belgium, Expertise France, Digital Africa, Afrilabs, GIZ, EUBIC, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum, and i4policy) we have joined forces to strengthen entrepreneurial skills and connections between African and European hubs. For all of us, participating in AEDIB|NET, a project funded by the European Commission under the broader Africa-EU partnership initiative, means progress through collaboration. 

In the scope of AEDIB|NET, we aim to initiate innovation hubs in Africa, that will support startups and SMEs in their digitization and growth endeavours, and to create investor networks that will fuel private investment on the continent. Furthermore our goals include connecting European and African early stage investors to multiply learning opportunities for all parties involved and inviting European and African founders to exchange and collaborate via online internships and cross-border visits. In more concrete terms we plan to establish 3 African Digital Innovation Hubs (ADIHs) among 3 of the 4 following areas: Smart cities, Digital Trade, Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA), and Clean Tech, organize of 3 study trips (2 for ADIHs to visit similar DIHs in Europe and 1 for European DIHs to visit ADIHs) and 2 virtual internship programmes for African and European ICT start-ups (50 participants per edition, duration of 6 months): African start-ups will engage in peer-to-peer learning and knowledge exchange exercises with an incubator/innovation centre (which will lead the internship programme) in the ecosystem of a European DIH; European startups will do the same with a tech hub (which will lead the internship programme) in the ecosystem of an ADIH.

We are not only excited to be starting this journey, but honored to be participating in a project with such potential for greatness and to be working with such amazing partners. If you are interested and would like to know more about this project, or think you could contribute/ benefit from it we encourage you to contact us at  euprojects@eban.org

Follow the project @AEDIBNET and @AEDIB|NET