According to the telco, Sierra Leone’s Orange Digital Centre (ODC) will serve as an ecosystem entirely dedicated to the development of digital skills and innovation. In line with Orange’s vision for all its digital centres, all programmes at the centre will be provided free of charge and open to everyone.
Launched in partnership with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the 500sqm-centre will host a coding school, a solidarity FabLab—one of the Orange Foundation’s digital manufacturing workshops, a startup accelerator programme, and an investment fund of Orange Group that invests in the most talented startups of Orange Digital Centre.
At its core, the ODC will provide digital literacy to professionals who need it, as well as knowledge and funding to budding Sierra Leonean startups.
Sierra Leone joins the 13 other African countries, including Egypt, Morocco and Senegal, where Orange’s digital centres are helping young Africans discover new digital tools. In Tunisia, the centre has coached over 21,000 young professionals and created 6,900 jobs.
The round was led by UAE-based venture capital firm, Global Ventures, with participation from Delivery Hero Ventures, AAIC Investment, and Dallah Al-Baraka. Previous investors in Yodawy, including Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), C Ventures, and P1 Ventures, also participated in the round.
Yodawy, founded in 2018, allows users to order drugs from its pharmacy network through its mobile app. The startup also enables users to make medical insurance claims for drugs on its platform, a critical upgrade for Egypt where 90% of prescriptions and insurance claims are made on paper.
Per TechCrunch, the startup plans to use its new funding to expand across markets in Africa and the Middle East. “We have built a strong network of insurance partners and employer-led medical schemes. We pretty much manage the end-to-end value chain of prescriptions, from how prescriptions are generated digitally on the doctor’s side to how payers process prescriptions, all the way to kind of a complete fulfilment infrastructure that currently manages the delivery of almost 200,000 prescriptions monthly across 30 cities in Egypt,” said CEO Karim Khashaba to TechCrunch.
The startup will also steer the funding towards the growth of its Care Program which offers chronic patients monthly medication refills and daily deliveries across 38 Egyptian cities.
So far, Yodawy has raised $30.5 million across four funding rounds with its last at a 2021 round where it raised $7.5 million.
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Africa’s energy demand is projected to double by 2040. Yet, according to a report by PwC, only 9% of the energy it generated in 2021 came from clean energy sources. While North Africa has the leading clean energy capacity on the continent, Central Africa’s capacity is set to almost double, given its 15,201MW worth of under-construction projects.
As the world transitions to alternative sources of energy in line with climate change, cleantech can play a key role in Africa’s path to a sustainable future. Africa’s economy faces challenges from energy price hikes, resource shortages, and environmental issues. Cleantech has the potential to scale the decelerating economic growth of Africa. So, there is a pressing need for African countries to expand their energy supply and prioritize their energy transition plans.
Cleantech uses technologies that focus on environmentally friendly products, services and practices to provide clean, sustainable energy. Startups in this space are developing innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions while making profits and scaling in growth. As an emerging sector with immense potential, capital has followed suit.
With a rise of cleantech startups launching their innovations across Africa, over $803 million in investments has been received between 2018 and 2021, according to a Weetracker report. There has never been a better time to invest in cleantech in Africa. However, there are technical and financial barriers to the adoption of cleantech in the national energy systems of African countries.
“Despite Africa being the region with the highest solar generation potential over the long term, investment in renewable energy in Africa fell to an 11-year low in 2021, comprising just 0.6% of the global total, according to BloombergNEF,” she told TechCabal. “Africa has 60% of the entire world’s solar capacity. It means that Africa could lead in the clean technology space for electricity generation.”
Glory however recommends that African governments provide cleantech startups more opportunities for exchanges and business-shadowing. “That way, the startups can realize the opportunities in the sector—not just to combat climate change but to promote access to electricity.”
In the long run, there is a need for the research and development of cleantech innovations. Therefore, climate-smart investments should be made into early-stage cleantech startups across Africa for commercial viability. Receiving strategic financial, technical and advisory support for the incubation of novel clean energy ideas and technologies will accelerate the continent’s energy transition and close its unmet need for reliable, affordable clean energy.
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REPORT: THE STATE OF TECH IN AFRICA
The numbers are in for 2022:
Africa raised $4.8 billion in Q2 2022 alone, up by 5% from 2021’s total VC funding raised.
The fintech sector raised about 37% of funding in that period.
Acquisitions increased by 35% from 32 in 2021 to an all-time high of 48 in 2022.
Over 1,000 tech workers were laid off in Africa.
Technology in Africa is growing at an unprecedented rate and we want you to have a bird’s eye view of it. The State of Tech in Africa report has launched.