Africa’s top aerospace and remote sensing startups presented solutions to some of the continents pressing challenges.

Group pic with Airbus GIZ MEST & Innocircle. Picture by Alex Birns / Plane Talking © 2019

Participants in the latest Airbus BizLab and GIZ #Africa4Future challenge for innovative African aerospace and remote sensing startups met with experts, investors and other stakeholders at an innovators summit in Cape Town.  Africa’s top startups presented innovative proposals to tackle water, food and land security, healthcare, urban development and engineering challenges in Africa.

The two-day summit, which ended yesterday, also included expert-led sessions looking at investment, food sustainability, smart cities and villages, drone testing, image analytics, aviation policy for sustainable growth and the role of women in the aerospace industry.

#Africa4Future is a joint accelerator initiative of Airbus and GIZ’s Make-IT in Africa initiative together with the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) Africa, an entrepreuneurial training programme, seed fund and Pan-African incubator, and Innocircle, the South African-based innovation consultancy.  It is dedicated to African tech startups that are actively working on aerospace-based solutions to meet Africa’s most pressing challenges.

The 10 startups were selected from 314 entries in 19 African countries in the second season of the #Africa4Future Challenge, when it opened last October.  They focus on the application of aerospace-related solutions, including automation, drones, artificial intelligence and data analytics in addressing serious challenges in various parts of the continent, such as healthcare, water management, food security, agriculture, environmental monitoring, land use and the development of smart cities and villages.

Since January, the startups have participated in an intensive mentorship and business acceleration programme, including bootcamps held in Kenya, France, Germany and South Africa.  The programme will end next month when they present their solutions at closing Demo Days in Berlin and at the biennial Paris Air Show.

About Airbus BizLab

Airbus BizLab is a global aerospace accelerator, where startups and Airbus intrapreneurs speed up the transformation of innovative ideas into valuable businesses. For more information about #Africa4Future, please find us at

About Make-IT Africa

The “Tech Entrepreneurship initiative, Make-IT in Africa” promotes digital innovation for sustainable and inclusive development in Africa.  Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements this project on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), as part of BMZ’s Digital Africa Initiatie.  In close collaboration with more than 30 coroprate and financing partners, social enterprises, hubs and networks, “Make-IT in Africa” supports the growth of an enabling environment for young entrepreneurs in the digital economy – to facilitate better access to finance.

About Airbus

Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2018 it generated revenues of € 64 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.


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