The First African Conference of Start-ups in Algeria

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Within the framework of the African Startup Conference, held in Algiers, Algeria on December 5-6 2022, African ministers in charge of the sectors of startups, high-tech innovation and entrepreneurship met to discuss and adopt the first African road-map aimed at boosting the African startup ecosystem.

In this regard, the ministerial meeting concluded with decisions that contain new mechanisms meant to establish the first high-level pan- african cooperation in the field of startups, making it a national economic priority through governmental development programs. On the other hand, emphasis was placed on coordinating activities and policies at the continental level to upgrade Africa’s position within the global ecosystem.

In order to concretely materialize the outcomes of the African Startup ministerial meeting, it was agreed to establish national contact points and form a permanent secretariat for the African Startup Conference, in order to activate and monitor the implementation of the roadmap.

Furthermore, an African Ministerial Council in charge of startups within the African Union will be created as a dialogue space for the different ministers operating in the sector.

In addition to these procedures, government sponsored incubators or accelerators will be put in place to be a point ofz contact and connection between the various African start-up ecosystems, as a “soft-landing” space so as to enhance communication between them.

As for financing, it was decided to start working on establishing an African fund of funds “FOF” for startups, in order to finance innovative projects in the continent, while facilitating the movement of startups and talents through coordination with the relevant authorities of various countries; in order to facilitate the transfer of talents and startups across Africa.

ALGIERS MINISTERIAL DECLARATION ON AFRICAN STARTUP DEVELOPMENT

African Startup Conference

05-06 December 2022

The African Ministers in charge of startups, joined by the Department of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation of the African Union Commission, the representatives of African civil society, the private sector and the experts.

Reminding the significant role that African startups can play in achieving the goals set by the African Union Agenda 2063, the UN Agenda 2030 SDGs, the Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa 2020-2030, and in particular the African Union’s STISA-2024 Science, Technology and Innovation strategy for Africa;

Reiterating the determination of the African governments to promote knowledge economy and the role of startups and innovative projects in developing the continent’s economy, through the mobilization of relevant resources and the implementation of adequate policies and programs;

Recognizing the progress made by African countries in establishing ecosystems conducive to the emergence and promotion of startups as a tool for descent job and wealth creation that will improve the lives of vulnerable populations and strengthen the foundations for sustainable inclusive growth.

Mindful of the challenges and hurdles faced by innovative project leaders in terms of financing needs, administrative and procedures and formalities to create startups;

Aware of the need to further strengthen African countries’ capacity to support young talents during their entrepreneurial journey and to enable them to create effective and sustainable startups;

Welcoming the level of technological knowledge and capability achieved by African youth and their unwavering enthusiasm and commitment to contribute to the progress of the continent through innovation and partnership;

Reaffirming the important role that African startups can play as a spearhead in the implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA);

Determined to bring together, coordinate, align and harmonize the efforts of African countries towards a pan-African startup strategy promoting SDGs such as no poverty, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, environment and climate change action, etc.

Agreed to:

Further strengthen the pan-African cooperation in the field of innovation and new technologies to ensure a better deployment of African startups, especially on the continent, for an optimal exploitation of this important market;

Invite all actors of the continental ecosystem to contribute to the establishment of an exchange mechanism for best practices on public policies designed to support startups and innovation, as well as to the harmonization of African governments’ efforts in this area;

Outline the promotion of startups as a national economic priority within the framework of governmental development programs through the strengthening of national capacities dedicated to innovative project holders, in a triple helix vision that includes universities, government and industry.

Coordinate appropriate policies and activities at the continental and international levels to promote Africa’s place in the global innovation and startup ecosystems and protect the continent’s interests in this critical area;

Encourage African institutions in charge of entrepreneurship and startups to build up strategies and action plans in view of accelerating the continent’s economic development and technological growth, facilitating continental talent, knowledge and technology transfer and make easier the access to funding to all entrepreneurial categories;

Enable African startups to benefit from a better deployment on the whole continent, by facilitating their mobility through the designation of one incubator for each country, which will act as a focal point to assist startups and ensure their “soft landing”;

Engage in a deeper reflection aimed at creating an African Startup Fund, mapping existent funds and looking to innovative funding schemes and contributions from different stakeholders, that will serve as a financing and support tool for startups in African countries, as well as a booster for the venture capital sector on the continent;

Promote the development of a road-map and action plan for the implementation, execution, follow-up and monitoring of all the strategic objectives and goals agreed upon during this conference.

Algiers, 06 December 2022

Roadmap

African Starutp Conference

As part of the implementation of the commitments contained in the Algiers Ministerial Declaration, adopted at the African Startup Conference held from 05 to 06 December 2022, a roadmap has been drawn by the participants to guide and harmonize the efforts of African countries in the field of startups, through the following actions:

Designation of national focal points and creation of a permanent Secretariat:

African countries are invited to designate a national focal point (at least at the level of Director General) and one alternate. These focal points will be responsible for:

Monitoring the implementation of this road-map;

Participating in meetings and gatherings organized in this context;

Setting up a permanent Secretariat of the African Startup Conference and ensuring the smooth running of future editions;

Establishing an exchange channel for best practices.

Adoption of the Algiers Ministerial Declaration on Startups in Africa by the African Union:

Having the Algiers Ministerial Declaration on Startups in Africa adopted by the African Union will strengthen its pan-African dimension and give it a legal anchoring. This will contribute to the mobilization of all regional and international actors in the field of startups, so as to implement the various commitments and to include the topic of startups in the official agendas of the African Union.

Add the Algiers Ministerial Declaration on Startups in the agenda of the upcoming AU summit, proposed by Algeria.

Creation of an African Ministers Council in charge of startups within the African Union:

This body is intended to be a formal exchange venue for African ministers in charge of startups, to be held periodically in one African country, to discuss continental issues related to the startup ecosystem. The council will be responsible for evaluating the implementation of the commitments of the Algiers ministerial declaration and for proposing new initiatives in this area in coordination with STCs mandated by AU

Establishment of an annual action plan:

Establish groups of experts to help develop an annual action plan, under the supervision of the designated focal points. This action plan will include all activities and initiatives organized by African countries, and will aim at building up a continental ecosystem favorable to startups.

Set up an African fund of funds for startups:

Organize a meeting with African financial institutions, funds active in the region, and African experts in this field to evaluate the opportunity as well as the feasibility of creating a fund of funds dedicated to the financing of African startups active on the continent.

Designation in each country of one Incubator or accelerator to serve as a focal point for the local ecosystem:

Communicate to the permanent Secretariat one incubator or accelerator for each country that will serve as a relay for the various African ecosystems, and a “soft-landing” for African startups, with a view of further connecting them. These incubators should have full support and be backed by their respective governments.

Facilitation of the mobility of startups and talent:

Coordinate with the relevant authorities in the different countries in order to facilitate talent, and startups mobility across the African continent

This road-map will be implemented according to a schedule set during the meetings of the national focal points of African countries.

Algiers, 06 December 2022