Innovation powerhouses: Digital Innovation Hubs in Africa

In Europe the concept of DIHs has already proven to be a capable tool for supporting the digital transformation of small and medium sized enterprises. Over 300 fully operational DIHs on the European continent successfully contribute to vibrant local innovation ecosystems. And exactly for this reason DIHs are now also emerging on the African continent with the aim to address local challenges.

The four service areas of a Digital Innovation Hub

Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) function as kind of one-stop-shops as they support companies with their digital transformation by offering services in four areas: (1) test before invest, (2) access to finance, (3) skills and training and (4) ecosystem building and networking.

A Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) brings together multiple organizations with complementary expertise and a research & technology organization at their core that is furthermore supplemented by different other institutions and companies. What unifies all these different players is a public-benefit objective. Because everyone should profit from a well-functioning innovation ecosystem.

On behalf of the European Commission and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the African European Digital Innovation Bridge (AEDIB) and Make-IT in Africa support the emergence of several African DIHs in different sectors, such as Climate Smart Agriculture, Digital Trade and Smart Cities. The vision is to create a common and cross-continental innovation market by linking the Digital Innovation Hubs in Africa with their European counterparts.

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