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African start-ups enter World Bank Group digital acceleration programme

digital startup communications africaTwenty African digital start-ups were chosen for the new initiative by the World Bank Group. (Photo: pressmaster/adobestock)Twenty African digital start-ups will take part in the XL Africa residency, a new initiative of the business accelerator rolled out last April by the World Bank Group’s infoDev programme

From 6-17 November in Cape Town, South Africa, the chosen start-ups will have the chance to learn from their mentors and peers, while also improving  regional visibility and gaining access to potential corporate partners and investors.

"XL Africa attracted firms with high-growth potential; many have female co-founders, have already raised early stage investment, and have demonstrated significant market traction. The number and quality of applications received are a clear testament to the competitiveness of African start-ups and the key role they play in Africa’s growing digital economy,”  said Klaus Tilmes, director of the Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice at the World Bank Group. 

A panel of industry experts from the International Finance Corporation, with partners IMC Worldwide, Koltai & Co. and Venture Capital for Africa as well as investors from prominent African funds were appointed for the selection of XL Africa start-ups. 

“We encountered very strong companies, particularly in the transportation, HR, and data analytics sectors,” said Danai Musandu, investment associate at Goodwell Investments. “We also observed signals of a nascent pipeline of digital companies beyond the traditional hot spots of Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. These talented entrepreneurs are among those who are going to drive innovation on the continent and offer great opportunities for investors looking at African markets.”