African Startups to Play a Critical Role in Taking the Planet ‘from Tragedy to Triumph’ …But where will the funding come from?

Cape Town, South Africa & London, United Kingdom, 4 November 2021.This week, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) got underway in Glasgow, turning the world’s attention to the global climate crisis and the solutions needed to address this. But many solutions already exist… in Africa.

A picture containing outdoor object, star Description automatically generated

“Whilst we are delighted that nearly 500 global financial firms have agreed to align $130 trillion – 40% of the worlds’ financial assets – to climate change and to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, now, more than ever, funding needs to be mobilised to scale innovations so they can have maximum impact. For this reason, the GIIG Africa Fund is seeking $100m in capital commitments to invest in tech and innovation in Africa over the next three years,” says GIIG Founding Partner, Mahyar Makhzani, a company set up to find, fund and grow Sustainable Development Goal-aligned tech innovation startups across Africa.

As the exclusive rights holder of the Global Startup Awards (GSA) Africa, GIIG has an active pipeline of sustainable businesses throughout the African continent addressing the United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goals and megatrends of the 2020s.

“Additionally, the private sector needs to recognise the role that vehicles like the Global Startup Awards Africa play in the finding and growing of startups to provide an always-on sustainable pipeline of talent,” adds Makhzani.

Caitlin Nash, Founding Partner of GIIG shares that the ability to pioneer affordable and sustainable solutions more cheaply, more flexibly and more inclusively is exactly what the world needs right now to tackle the huge problems of energy transition and climate change. “And this is what we have in Africa.”

This is the first year that all 55 African nations have participated in the GSA competition. The 2021 competition has now closed for entries, with 7,589 startups entering from 54 of the 55 African countries.

Jo Griffiths, GIIG Founding Partner, shares that these startups are well-positioned to respond to the climate crisis. “As Sir David Attenborough said, ‘…we need to rewrite our story, to turn this tragedy into a triumph…A new industrial revolution, powered by millions of sustainable innovations, is essential, and is indeed already beginning. We will all share in the benefits. Affordable, clean energy, healthy air and enough food to sustain us all.’ However, funding is needed to nurture and grow these innovations and forge the revolution ahead.”

In analysing the data gleaned from the GSA Africa entries, 61% are at Seed level, a further 17% at Series A and 4% at Series B. “In many cases, these startups are looking for minimal investment, but their combined contribution to the climate effort will make a significant difference,” notes GIIG Founding Partner, Philip Baldwin. “Our competition entrants have proven that there are solutions available which could make an immeasurable difference to the lives of Africans and those beyond, but without private and public sector commitment and funding, it simply will not work. What’s more, it’s a bankable investment, with past GSA competition winners including five unicorns.”

GSA Africa is currently undergoing a jury process to identify regional finalists, following which the continental winners will be announced in February 2022. All continental winners (along with some runners-up) will be offered funding and have the opportunity to increase their access to networks, new markets and supply chains via GIIG’s global partners.

Baldwin concludes by saying, “It’s now or never. Working together we are powerful enough to save our planet!”

For more information, go to


About GIIG

The Global Innovation Initiative Group (GIIG), strives to develop the largest relationship infrastructure of mission-aligned African innovation stakeholders to accelerate the co-creation of future markets and world-changing solutions. Through its multi-platform venture-builders, GIIG Africa will accelerate business growth utilising world- class expertise. GIIG is the exclusive partner to the African region of the Global Startup Awards, the largest independent startup ecosystem competition with the mission to find, recognise and connect the future-shapers of the digital age from all around the world. For more information, go to

About Global Startup Awards (GSA) Africa

The Global Startup Awards (GSA) is the world’s largest independent startup ecosystem competition with a mission to recognise and connect the future-shapers of the digital age from all around the globe. Having started in the Nordics in 2012, the Awards are expanding in 2021 to include all 55 African member states in the global network. Now, Africa’s innovation community has access to new markets, funding and a global network of investors and innovation ecosystems. GSA Africa scouts all 55 countries across multiple categories to expose the digital future-shapers of the 2020s.There are 12 categories in GSA Africa, six of which have been specifically developed for the continent – AgriTech, HealthTech, CommerceTech, IndustrialTech, ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) Tech, as well as Women in Tech. These have been created to address both the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. For more information, go to

(Visited 86 times, 1 visits today)
About Joel Cholo Brooks 13528 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.
Contact: Website

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.