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Sustainability and social impact: 6 African startups make a stop in Italy

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Sustainability and social impact: 6 African startups make a stop in Italy

They are six of the most promising startups in Uganda, they are the winners of Next Generation Africathe program promoted by the association BeEntrepreneurs and from the Embassy of Italy in Uganda and from 9 to 13 May they will be (together with thirteen local entrepreneurial talents) in Italy for the Startup Africa Roadshow, a program in stages between Milan and Turin marked by moments of networking and training, meetings on field, discussion sessions with potential investors and also a public event (11 May in Milan) open to the innovation community.

The project is curated by BeEntrepreneurs APSassociation, founded by Andrea Censoni, 32, from Bologna, and Lorenzo D’Amelio, which supports the growth of the most promising entrepreneurial teams of Silicon Savannah, the innovation ecosystem made up of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda (100 tech hubs, more than 700 million dollars of investments attracted by startups, 30 million dollars in Uganda alone).

“We are talking about a continent that in a few years will represent the future. For ventures and business angels it is an incredible opportunity – said Andrea Censoni – even if it is an ecosystem in an embryonic phase”.

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Startup Africa Roadshow it is the culmination of a path – explained Andrea Censoni – which began in June last year with a call for startups based in East Africa in which we received 305 applications “.

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Among the startups protagonists of the initiative there is Kimuli Fashionability, a Ugandan company with a social impact that combines the challenge of recycling plastic waste with the support of 102 collaborators with disabilities. The project was launched by 25-year-old seamstress Juliet Namujju, entrepreneur.

There are Phy2Appapp to simplify transactions between local agricultural producers and potential end customers e Zofi Casha payment platform that allows employees to obtain an advance on their monthly salary, a very common need in Uganda.

In Italy also the winning team of the special sustainability award Marula Proteenwhich transforms the organic waste of Kampala into fertilizer with a high nutritional value with a biological process, using insects, according to the model of the circular economy.

With them there will also be some protagonists of the 2019 edition of the Tech Week of Kampala, whose Italian experience, scheduled for spring 2020, had been postponed due to the outbreak of the pandemic: HerHealtha female startup that develops health technology solutions to enable access to care in the most disadvantaged rural communities e Gorilla Conservation Coffeea project that contributes to the protection of the fauna in Bwindi National Park while supporting the local farmers.

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“These are all very interesting projects that deserve further study and that must be read and analyzed in the local context of Uganda, where 90% of the local population (70 million inhabitants) lives in rural areas and villages. sustainability and the impact on the community “.

New forms of collaboration between Europe and Africa

Launched in 2017 as a Startup Africa Roadtrip project, the association’s activity BeEntrepreneurs APS to date it can count on the contribution of 40 Italian volunteers under 35, 5 training programs resulting from as many calls for innovators powered by a database of over 1500 startups, more than 80 trained entrepreneurial teams and a network with more than 100 stakeholders.

“Two years after the first Roadshow, canceled due to the pandemic situation, our group is even more united than ever. The motivation that drives us is given by an ambitious mission: to tell and bear witness that, precisely through innovation , new forms of international cooperation and collaboration between Europe and Africa are possible “said Censoni.

For the Italian ambassador to Uganda Massimiliano Mazzanti“training, innovation and international partnerships are crucial to face the challenges of the future, even more so in a young country like Uganda. The collaboration between young Italians and Ugandans within the project strengthens mutual knowledge and the historic friendship that binds our countries “.

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