#Africa4Future Cape Town summit concludes on a high


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 over the last couple of days, with African startups presenting innovative proposals to tackle water, food and land security, healthcare, urban development and engineering challenges in Africa.

The two-day summit, which ended on 12 May, 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, Airbus said in a statement.

#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 entrepreneurial 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.

South African startups include WiPo Wireless Power, which provides wireless power chargers for unmanned aerial vehicles and other mobile devices, and Elemental Numerics, which uses software to provide mathematical models and equations in the field of computational fluid dynamics for more accurate flight predictions. Applications range from heart valves to aircraft design.