Parliamentary State Secretary Dr Maria Flachsbarth takes over the patronage of Make-IT

At this year’s CEBIT, the Make-IT Alliance gathered to welcome new members to its ranks. Also present was the BMZ’s Parliamentary State Secretary Dr. Maria Flachsbarth: “I am very much looking forward to the new task!” she said in her welcoming speech, announcing her taking the patronage of the Make-IT initiative. “I guess I’m a new member of the Alliance, too.” In the current legislative period, BMZ is devoting even more attention than before to the topic of digital start-up funding in its partner countries.

Dr. Maria Flachsbarth listening to the pitch of Winnie Badiah. Her start-up “GrassRoots Bima” provides insurances via an online platform.

Seven new members joined the Make-IT Alliance: Germany’s largest foreign trade association, the German Asia-Pacific Business Association (OAV) , the chemical and pharmaceutical company Merck, the consulting firm GFA Consulting and the World Summit Awards, which award digital innovations from all over the world every year who help to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The European-African network Afrolynk, the German development agency (GIZ) and the financiers of GreenTec Capital Partners want to promote investments that bring together sustainable development goals with national development plans. The means: capacity building, mentoring programs, training measures, coaching and networking of local entrepreneurs with investors.

At CEBIT 2018, 17 African digital innovators from Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Rwanda and Tunisia, had booths at the “scale11” where they connect with interested businesses and investors. These start-ups are supported by ‘Make-IT in Africa’. The programme is implemented by GIZ on behalf of the BMZ as part of its Digital Africa Initiative.

The start-ups’ presence at CEBIT made clear yet again: The African continent is rich in innovations! The ideas of the different tech start-ups range from prostheses made with artificial intelligence and 3D printers, to probes that improve the yields of small farmers through weather data acquisition, to telemedical solutions for rural areas. Visitors to CEBIT had the whole week to get to know the entrepreneurs and their ideas at the BMZ-sponsored stand in the Startup Hall, Scale 11.

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