The leading pan-African network organization, AfriLabs commemorates 10 years of empowering and inspiring a thriving innovation economy in Africa. Over the past decade, AfriLabs has remained true to its goal of supporting the growth of technology hubs and their communities to train high potential entrepreneurs who will drive economic growth and social development in Africa.
Founded in 2011 with five hubs in four African countries, AfriLabs has grown exponentially over the past 10 years, and the organization currently has over 300 member hubs in 119 cities in 50 African countries. AfriLabs has been at the forefront of innovation in Africa for the past decade, serving as a connection point for innovation hubs across the continent, providing support to the rapidly evolving tech hub community. through funding, mentoring, networking opportunities and other capacities. construction initiatives, to produce entrepreneurs with high potential who will have a positive impact on the socio-economic status of the continent. Some of the key milestones recorded by the organization in its 2020 Impact Report include:
- Over one million large communities of hubs and start-ups in the African tech ecosystem reached and engaged in AfriLabs programs and activities.
- Influencing policy in five African countries.
- More than 2,000 members of the innovation facilitator community in 56 countries and the five regions of Africa have been trained on how they can better support start-ups.
- Over 1200 stakeholders have been engaged through Virtual Meetup grants and 58% of these stakeholders are women.
- 279,000 euros in grants awarded to community members in 2020.
- 212 start-ups have been supported through business development support, mentoring, funding and 78% of these start-ups are led by women.
Speaking on this important milestone, Anna Ekeledo, Executive Director of AfriLabs, said: “The African tech ecosystem has seen increased levels of growth in recent years and this growth has not happened in a vacuum. . It is widely attributed to the innovation ecosystem, in particular support systems via tech / innovation communities like AfriLabs which have played a crucial role in supporting startups and entrepreneurs. We are proud to celebrate this monumental milestone and we also take this opportunity to thank our team, partners, community members and all stakeholders who have supported our vision of building a thriving innovation economy in Africa. As we enter the next decade, we are excited about the future and ready to continue the work of accelerating innovation across the continent through our impactful programs and initiatives. “
The organization is also expected to host its 2021 Annual Gathering conference, the largest convention of bright African leaders of innovation hubs and ecosystem builders on the continent. The theme of this year’s gathering is “AfriLabs at 10: a decade of innovation and inspiration across Africa”And is to be held in Abuja, Nigeria, from 25e – 27e October 2021. The event will provide a unique opportunity for players in the innovation community – ranging from hubs, start-ups, universities, investors, business organizations and development agencies – to come together, network and share knowledge on driving innovation across the continent.
“The AfriLabs 2021 Annual Gathering is special for us as it coincides with AfriLabs 10th anniversary. Looking at all that we have accomplished over the past decade, we are so proud of our contributions to the development of the innovation ecosystem in Africa, and this edition provides an opportunity to highlight the remarkable growth that the African ecosystem has witnessed over the years, ”added Anna Ekeledo.
Ahead of the 2021 annual gathering, AfriLabs has also partnered with organizations that share a common vision to propel the African innovation ecosystem, including GIZ Make-IT, Mozilla, Honoris United University and Liquid Intelligent Technologies. Due to Covid-19 restrictions across the world, the annual AfriLabs gathering will be a hybrid event and interested attendees can register here.