The AFCFTA and its partners on the 4D, ProPer and Caravan Initiatives, AfroChampions, and the Arab Bank for Economic Development (BADEA), recently announced the winners of the AfCFTA Caravan Prize.

The purpose of the AfCFTA Caravan initiative is to provide extensive soft infrastructure to boost the capacity of SMEs and startups in Africa to expand beyond their home country. It operates at the base of the ProPer Network, a supply chain quality assurance program created to ensure that the “Rules of Origin" system at the heart of AfCFTA works for both governments and businesses.

A key criterion for the selection of the finalists and semi-finalists was for an organisation and its founders to conceive and implement models, concepts, plans, products, and/or services that, at scale, can contribute to the objectives of AfCFTA and the broader Agenda 2063 of the African Union, of which AfCFTA is a flagship.

The winners – emerging victorious from a pool of more than 1,500 eligible candidate enterprises, were selected by jurors with a rich background in the development and economic transformation sectors. Their selection further reflects their institutions’ strong commitment to AfCFTA, SMEs, startup innovation, and inclusive growth.

The winners are listed below.

Founder, Bernie Akporiaye – MaTontine (Senegal /West Africa)

MaTontine is a comprehensive Digital Financial Services (DFS) platform for the entire financial inclusion industry: Banks, MFIs, Digital Money Providers, agricultural associations, etc. The platform enables access to a range of financial services like savings, loans, and insurance to the financially excluded, mostly women, in Africa via mobile phones. MaTontine innovation promises a new Africa where trade is borderless.

Founder, Purity Gakuo – Tekizo Africa (Kenya/East Africa)

Tekizo Africa Limited manufactures and distributes solar-powered freezers to small-scale fishermen, offering them sustainable cooling services in the fishing sector. It promises a new Africa where food is secured.

Founder, Dr. John Afolayan – Medics2You (Nigeria /West Africa)

Medics2You incorporates AI, analytics, high-definition video, and video calls, and machine learning to provide options for preventative healthcare, personal health management as well as specialist health services. Medics2You incorporates AI, analytics, high-definition video, video calls, and machine learning to provide options for preventative healthcare, personal health management as well as specialist health services.

Founder, Mildreight Muzendu – Africa Free Trade Area (AFTA) Cargo (Zimbabwe/Southern Africa)

AFTA Cargo is using its strategic units to respond to the multi-layers issues that have for years marginalized Africa from securing a growing stake in the global cargo market. Disrupt Africa’s cargo market will join us to expedite AfCFTA implementation.

Founder, Matthieu  Gaudemar – Kudoti (South Africa /Southern Africa)

Kudoti seeks to improve waste management infrastructure and grow the circular economy in Africa through digitization and tech-enabled waste value maximization. Disrupt Africa’s waste management system will improve the efficiency of waste and recycling markets on the continent.

About the AfCFTA Caravan Prize

The AfCFTA Caravan Prize celebrates Africa’s SMEs, startups, social enterprises, and innovator entities keen on harnessing the benefits that will be created by AfCFTA to expand continentally and flourish at the grassroots.  Growing out of the earlier AfCFTA Vision and Caravan Africa competitive grants programs, the Prize seeks to discover transformative ideas to expedite AfCFTA implementation.

The Prize is a component of the broader Caravan Initiative, which itself is a flagship of the AU-led 4D Initiative. The Caravan platform aims to provide extensive soft infrastructure to boost the capacity of SMEs and startups in Africa to expand beyond their home country. It is at the base of the ProPer Network, a supply chain quality assurance program created to ensure that the “Rules of Origin” system at the heart of AfCFTA works for both governments and businesses.

Caravan also powers the “jobs in green tech” program, the Digital Green Corridor, designed to promote a trade & investment corridor for Africa’s cleantech entrepreneurs to benefit from AfCFTA and the ongoing global green shift simultaneously.

About the AfCFTA

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a flagship project of Agenda 2063 of the African Union — Africa’s own development vision. It was approved by the 18th ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2012 which adopted the decision to establish a Continental Free Trade Area.

The initiative whose immediate implementation would provide quick wins, impact on socio-economic development and enhance confidence and the commitment of Africans as the owners and drivers of Agenda 2063.

The AfCFTA aims at accelerating intra-African trade and boosting Africa’s trading position in the global market by strengthening Africa’s common voice and policy space in global trade negotiations. The AfCFTA Agreement was signed on 21st March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda, came into force on 30 May 2019.

The scope of the AfCFTA Agreement includes the Protocol on Trade in Goods, the Protocol on Trade in Services, and the Protocol on Rules and Procedures on the Settlement of Disputes, the Protocol on Investment, the Protocol on Intellectual Property Rights, the Protocol on Competition, the Protocol on Digital Trade, and the Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade.