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MEST Africa announces the launch of applications for its second annual MEST Africa Challenge, a Pan-African pitch competition for scale-ups based in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa or Cote d’Ivoire who are ready to expand into new markets. This year’s finalists from each country will attend the MEST Africa Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, June 10-12, 2019, where they will once again compete on a global stage for up to $50k in equity investment and the opportunity to join the Pan-African MEST incubator community.

“This year we’re looking for the continent’s most exciting African scale-ups who are ready to expand into new markets, and continue building world-class solutions for African problems,” said MEST Managing Director, Aaron Fu.

The team at MEST, along with this year’s platinum sponsor Microsoft, looks forward to hosting the second edition of the Challenge FInals at the 2019 MEST Africa Summit, which will bring together leading African and global entrepreneurs, investors, corporate partners and ecosystem players in MEST Africa’s newest home, Nairobi, Kenya.

“We are excited to partner with MEST,”  said Microsoft Senior Director, Chris Lwanga. “At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. We firmly believe that innovation is the birthright of every human being and look forward to seeing first hand the amazing innovation coming from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and Cote d’Ivoire.”

The inaugural MEST Africa Challenge in 2018 saw over 700 applications across four markets, out of which 40 made it into the regional finals in Accra, Lagos, Nairobi, and Cape Town. One representative from each of team was flown to Cape Town, where they presented in front of a jury of judges from Facebook, MTN, and Meltwater, as well as the Summit’s global audience of investors, Pan-African entrepreneurs, and corporate leaders. Accounteer, a Nigeria-based cloud accounting company, took home the first prize including $50,000 USD in equity investment and a space in the MEST Incubator Lagos.

Niyi Adegboye, the Senior Business Developer at Accounteer who presented the winning pitch in 2018, said of his experience: “It was an amazing experience participating in the MEST Africa Challenge 2018.  Being the regional winner gave me the poise that Accounteer would emerge as the winner in South Africa, and the trip to Cape Town was superb. Accounteer is proud to be a part of the MEST portfolio today. ” Since winning the Challenge, Accounteer has expanded from Nigeria into Kenya and has received follow-on funding from Microtraction.

Applications for this year’s Challenge will be open from January 14th – February 15th, 2019. Find out more about the Challenge and apply here. If you are a post-revenue tech business, in any vertical, who can show why you should be taken seriously as a leader in your space, you are encouraged to apply. Top companies in each region will be invited to pitch at regional events in Accra, Nairobi, Lagos, Cape Town, and Abidjan.

Regional pitch events will be held on the following dates, at MEST Incubator locations or local partners office:

  • Accra: Wednesday, February 27

  • Nairobi: Wednesday, February 27

  • Lagos: Thursday, February 28

  • Cape Town: Thursday, February 28

  • Abidjan: Thursday, February 28

Criteria Companies must:

  • Be post-revenue

  • Operate in the market in which they are applying

  • Be primarily tech-focused

For more than 10 years, MEST has trained aspiring African entrepreneurs and invested in exceptional businesses with Pan-African ambitions. These businesses have gone on to enter new markets, with MEST growing alongside them as we’ve learned about the opportunities and challenges they face as they scale. Today, MEST Africa is the continent’s largest incubator network, present in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa and Cote d’Ivoire.

Apply here for the 2019 MEST Africa challenge.


The @WeAreGCM are calling all passionate, enthusiastic, dedicated and proactive 18-23-year-old social entrepreneurs, community organizers, activists, volunteers and campaigners who are working towards attaining the SDGs Click To Tweet

Share your work with them by applying to the summit and have a chance to be selected as a Global Changemaker and attend the fully funded Global Youth Summit 2019.

The GYS2019 will take place from 14 to 20 July in Zurich, Switzerland and we will invite 60 exceptional Changemakers aged 18-23 to join us for a life-changing week of learning, networking and fun alongside the world’s most inspiring young leaders like you. As one of the 2019 Global Changemakers, you will join their network of over 1000 young changemakers working to make a difference in over 180 countries and be eligible to apply for grant funding to launch or scale your projects.

Who is eligible?

They are looking for interesting, enthusiastic, determined and motivated young social entrepreneurs, community organizers, activists, volunteers and campaigners who are working towards attaining the SDGs across the globe. Young people who are passionate about making the world a better place, have taken steps to realize this vision and plan to continue their work are highly encouraged to apply. Participants should be between 18 and 23 years old at the time of the summit (those born between 14 July 1995 and 20 July 2001) and may be from any country. Questions on the age requirements?

What cost does Global Changemakers cover?

If you are selected, your return flight (from your country’s main airport to Zurich and back), transport from Zurich airport to the summit and back, accommodation and food costs will be covered for the duration of the summit. Insurance and additional personal expenses, as well as visas, to enter Switzerland (for those who require one) will not be covered.

Apply Here or Learn More Here.


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Google is looking for a program manager for its newly created AI center in Accra. An ideal candidate must have:

  • Experience in program management and end-to-end project management.
  • Experience with stakeholder management.
  • Ability to speak and write in English and French fluently and idiomatically.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience in supporting the creation of a new organization/site/start-up. Experience in research/academia.
  • Experience successfully coordinating projects within diverse teams towards a shared output.
  • Excellent organizational and time management abilities.
  • A drive to identify strategic opportunities, and ability to feel equally at home explaining recommendations to executives as well as discussing technical details with engineers.
  • Passion for machine learning and artificial intelligence.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

About the job

Google’s projects, like our users, span the globe and require managers to keep the big picture in focus. As a Program Manager at Google, you lead complex, multi-disciplinary projects. You plan requirements with internal customers and usher projects through the entire project lifecycle. This includes managing project schedules, identifying risks and clearly communicating goals to project stakeholders. Your projects often span offices, time zones and hemispheres, and it’s your job to keep all the players coordinated on the project’s progress and deadlines.

Research and Machine Intelligence teams at Google tackles challenging problems in Computer Science and related fields. Being bold and taking risks is essential to what we do and allows our teams to make discoveries that impact users every day. That’s why coordinating all those efforts becomes one of the key components to success.

In this role, you’ll proactively manage the overall team/projects coordination and travel to other office locations as a member of the EMEA Technical/Program Management team.

There is always more information out there, and the Research and Machine Intelligence team has a never-ending quest to find it and make it accessible. We’re constantly refining our signature search engine to provide better results, and developing offerings like Google Instant, Google Voice Search and Google Image Search to make it faster and more engaging. We’re providing users around the world with great search results every day, but at Google, great just isn’t good enough. We’re just getting started.

Your responsibilities

  • Support the team while moving projects forward.
  • Help the team innovate to achieve creative and technical goals.
  • Deliver projects using a combination of existing processes and initiatives.
  • Keep the team focused and productive.
  • Help establish new Research teams and projects. Define, implement and improve scalable and repeatable workflows for the teams by leveraging software tools, techniques, and automation.

Apply here

Unilever Ghana is looking for students across all universities in Ghana to serve as campus brand ambassadors 2019. The Unilever Brand Ambassador Program is set to engage and empower students in campuses across Ghana by signing them up as campus brand ambassadors for a period of one year. You will be required to come up with interesting and resourceful engagements within your campuses, advertise Unilever to the students as a great Brand and serve as a point of contact between the students and Unilever.

Criteria for Selection – 

Applicants must:
• be an undergraduate student of a University in Ghana
• be genuinely interested in Unilever and find problem-solving exhilarating
• be resourceful and intelligently curious
• not be a final year student (2nd and 3rd-year students preferably)
• demonstrate an unwavering commitment to excellence, personal and professional development
• demonstrate an impressive record of initiative-taking and leadership
• enjoy working in teams.

*This application is eligible to both Ghanaian and foreign students.

**Beware of recruitment fraud! All subsequent information from Unilever Ghana to successful candidates will only come from an e-mail address with the official domain @unilever.com

Candidates will not be required to make any monetary commitment.

When you are set, begin your application here.

All the best!


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Apply for “Supporting Entrepreneurship in Africa” program by The Tony Elumelu Foundation and French Development Agency.

Deadline: Applications must be submitted not later than Thursday 20th of December, 20

Background and Benefits:

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the French Development Agency (AFD) and the French Institute for Research in Africa, Nigeria (IFRA Nigeria), have signed a partnership agreement on the programme “Supporting Entrepreneurship in Africa”.

Beginning in 2015, the Supporting Entrepreneurship in Africa programme is a philanthropic initiative which goal is to identify and empower young African entrepreneurs.

As part of the agreement, one Nigerian master student in Economics or Political Sciences of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) or the University of Ibadan (UI) will be selected to conduct field research in Nigeria and Kenya, starting in January 2019. The research will aim at studying the impact of the “Supporting Entrepreneurship in Africa” programme in the targeted countries.

The successful applicant will be co-supervised by the IFRA team and the TEF foundation. He/She will be endowed with a monthly stipend of 500 Euros over a period of one year to fund his/her research. Additionally, transport and research fees in the other targeted country will be covered. The student will have access to the TEF foundation data and logistical support in Nigeria and Kenya. He/She will produce a master thesis presenting the key research findings as well as a technical report to be submitted to both TEF and IFRA.

The successful applicant will team up with a French student starting fieldwork in January 2019 in other African countries. Both students will compare their collected data and exchange ideas.

Eligibility and Application Procedure:

Nigerian Master Students in Economics or Political Sciences matriculated in UNILAG or UI for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Applicants must email their CV and cover letter to info@ifra-nigeria.org

INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS, FROM DISTINCT UNIVERSITIES OR FIELDS, WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED

Deadline: Applications must be submitted not later than Thursday 20th of December, 2018.


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Deadline: February 24

D4D is offering $100,000 in prize funding towards selected winners with solutions to the inaugural Mission Billion Challenge, with the top prize of $50,000. Anyone, anywhere who has a solution to this critical Challenge should apply here by February 24.

Background

How can digital identification systems in developing countries be better designed or adapted to protect people’s privacy and empower them with greater control over their personal data?

Despite significant progress in recent years, one billion people are still unable to prove their identity, and many more have forms of identification that cannot be reliably verified or authenticated. In an increasingly digital age, lack of trusted identification often results in exclusion from economic opportunities and a variety of social and political rights.

ID4D, an initiative of the World Bank, is seeking innovative ideas and solutions to these problems by launching the Mission Billion Challenge powered by MIT Solve, which will focus on a single pressing issue each year. For the inaugural Mission Billion Challenge, ID4D will start with an issue at the heart of digital identification design: privacy and user empowerment of their identification. As countries and development partners strive to provide identification to millions of people, there is an opportunity to inform the design of digital identification systems to enhance data protection and provide individuals with greater control over their personal data. This challenge aims to surface practical and cost-effective ‘privacy by design’ features that can be embedded in digital identification systems.


Read this paper on Privacy by Design to learn more about the issue.

Watch this video to learn more about the Mission Billion Challenge.

For more information and to apply for the Challenge, please visit the ID4D Mission Billion Challenge page. For questions about submitting to the Challenge, please email missionbillionhelp@solve.mit.edu

Happy solving!


 

L’Afrique Excelle connects startups from Francophone Africa with mentors and investors. They support you to raise up to $5M from investors and link you to expertise from leading investors, entrepreneurs, and sector experts.

They are looking for 20 scalable technology ventures in the late seed or pre-series A stage, well-positioned for growth and cross-border expansion in the Francophone Africa markets, and looking to raise between $250K and $5M.

Deadline: January 4th, 2019

What’s in it for you?

L’Afrique Excelle will provide selected startups with:

  •  Structured access to Francophone Africa-focused investors throughout the program and at a Venture Showcase at VivaTech in Paris
  • Mentoring from two successful entrepreneurs or investors (international and local) to develop accurate company valuations, financial forecasts, risk management, and customer acquisition strategies. Access to other expertise is provided based on your specific needs.
  • The opportunity to engage with investors, domain experts, and corporate partners as well as peers at two all-expenses-paid residencies – in Mali and in France.
    Support in developing investment packages so you’re ready for investment following the program.
  • Knowledge through curated content designed to teach you everything you need to know about marketing, financing and market expansion.

Criteria For Eligibility

  • Your start-up is for profit and registered, with a team of at least three people
  • A digital or tech product/service currently available in the market
  • Either based in or deriving at least 75% of turnover in one or several of the following Francophone Africa markets: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, DRC, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, and Togo
  • You have a very strong management team
  • You can demonstrate tangible traction, evidence of revenue and potential to scale
  • You are seeking investment capital in the range of $250K – $5M
  • While there will be exceptions, most likely your start-up has already received investment capital, as debt or equity, or received grants from donor organizations or prize money from competitions.

Language Component

The main language of the program is French, so fluent French is a requirement for participation. The application has to be submitted in French, the interviews will be in French, and the majority of Mali and France residency sessions will be in French. The final pitch at the Venture Showcase, however, has to be delivered in English, so an intermediate level of English proficiency is desirable.

What is Expected From Participants

The 20 finalists are expected to participate in the one-week residency in Mali (March 25-30, 2019), where the final cohort of 10 will be selected. The selected 10 startups will proceed with the rest of the program and are expected to:

  • Engage regularly with mentors (4-6 hours a month) over 6 months.
    Remember it’s a two-way street – both mentors and mentees learn and commit to this relationship. In many cases, we expect these relationships to last long after the program has ended.
  • Over 6 months, participate in up to 5 virtual webinar sessions run by global experts with inputs from leading African and US investors and successful entrepreneurs.
  • Participate in the one-week residency in France (May 13-18, 2019), including the Venture Showcase at the VivaTech event in Paris
  • Engage with your peers part of the cohort, along with mentors, investors and strategic partners.
  • Come with an open mind and be willing to learn and collaborate

SELECTION CRITERIA

The criteria for selection are as follows:

  • Commercial Value of your Product/Service (25%) – The company addresses a real problem in the market. The digital or tech solution is different from others in the industry. The product or service is catalyzing social change.
  • Strategy for Growth (25%) – There is potential to expand locally and into new markets. We can see demonstrable progress and your startup is scalable.
  • Management (25%) – The team has the qualifications needed to make the business successful.
  • Market Traction & Financials (25%) – We will evaluate the market traction and potential market size. We’ll also look at the business model, revenue streams and unit economics, and if any outside funding has been raised before.

Application Portal: Click here to apply now.


 

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