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GSMA backs African climate resilience startups

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The GSM Association (GSMA) has opened for submissions the latest iteration of the GSMA Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation, including for African startups.

Small and midsized enterprises, social enterprises and startups offering mobile and digital solutions to populations with low incomes and those vulnerable to climate change in selected regions can apply for grants of £100,000 (US$121,300) to £250,000 ($303,250).

The fund is backed by the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

It will allocate the grants to projects lasting 15 to 18 months taking place in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, Guatemala, Bolivia, Colombia, Albania or Moldova. The window for applications closes on May 16.

African startups dominate previous round

The previous round of grants attracted 524 applications from 70 countries, with most projects – 78% – hailing from Africa and another 19% coming from Asia. In total, 12 startups were awarded the grant, most of them focusing on improving farming through mobile and digital technology.

During the previous round, 62 applications came from Kenya – the most from any African country – followed by 47 projects applying from Nigeria. Three projects – CoAmana, Crop2Cash and Hello Tractor – were awarded grants for solutions that seek to help Nigerian farmers cope with drought and unpredictable rainfall patterns.

Several start-ups involved in farming have been awarded grants under GSMA's fund.
 (Source: Image by Freepik)
Several start-ups involved in farming have been awarded grants under GSMA's fund.
(Source: Image by Freepik)

Kenyan startup Aquarech and Tanzanian Simusolar focused on IoT use in fish farming, while Egyptian BENAA uses IoT to help convert wastewater into irrigation water.

For the latest round, higher priority will be given to issues that include vulnerable ecosystems in coastal areas, small islands and urban settings, as well as challenges arising from extreme weather events.

Digital, nature-based solutions are also being prioritized, specifically those focusing on regenerative agriculture, as well as sustainable forests, coastal areas and wetlands that strengthen biodiversity. Another area of interest is sustainable food production and consumption, including air pollution management and sustainable fisheries.

This story was originally published on Connecting Africa's sister site Light Reading. To read the full story please follow this link.

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*Top image source: Arek Socha on Pixabay.

— Tereza Krásová, Associate Editor, Light Reading, special to Connecting Africa

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