Rwanda & Uganda Mission 2020

Discover Africa's booming tech start-up scenes in Kigali and Kampala

Join us for our five-day mission from March 24-28, 2020 to Kigali and Kampala. After Kenya and Nigeria, Startups, Agoria and Close the Gap join forces to organize this Tech Go Global Mission to discover Africa’s booming tech scenes in Rwanda and Uganda in the framework of the Belgian Digital for Development program. This mission offers you a chance to mingle and collaborate with local business leaders and entrepreneurs who know best what Rwanda and Uganda have to offer for the future of tech development in Africa as well as on a global scale.

Nicknamed the Singapore of Africa, with a capital city hailed as being the “tech hub of Africa” Rwanda’s growing reputation for development in the world of digital has come on leaps and bounds over the last decade. According to the World Bank’s 2018 Ease of Doing Business Index, Rwanda has risen above countries like Italy, Belgium, and Israel to become the 41st most business-friendly nation on earth. Which is why we believe in the importance of being on ground zero to hear the latest from local entrepreneurs and tech visionaries. Alongside this, the mission will branch out to neighboring Uganda, visiting the country’s capital Kampala, known throughout the continent for its leading role within telecommunications as well as a whole host of impressive startups and exciting new industry.

The objective of this Rwanda/Uganda mission is to create potential partnerships and raise awareness about Digital for Development opportunities.  The focus is on startups and scale-ups in AI, IoT, fintech, agritech, cleantech, healthtech, edutech, etc. But, actors from cooperation development, non-profit associations, academics, and corporates are also welcome. 

This mission is the third within the context of our Digital for Development project. Our last went to Nigeria’s Silicon Lagoon. Discover the aftermovie of the Silicon Lagoon mission here.

 

Be a part of the East African Digital Boom, discovering the leading tech players and startups from Kigali to Kampala.

Join us to:

  • Meet some of the key players in the tech industry and start-up community
  • Mingle with fellow entrepreneurs from Rwanda and Uganda as well as getting to know the needs of the locals
  • Learn about the opportunities that arise in East Africa, how to do business there and validate your idea with local entrepreneurs and investors in an interactive setting.
  • Discover the mindset of the Rwandan governement and people: how they embrace technology and how they maximize and amplify technology for the better of the country.
  • Find local partners…

Dates:

March 24th – 28th 2020             

Highlights of the program:

  • Zipline's revolutionary drone-approach to health care, where they provide blood and medicine to remote areas by dronesThese life-saving deliveries are reaching 16 million people at the moment.
  • A co-creation session with CcHub, together with local Rwandan startups. CcHub's CEO, Bosun Tijani, will personally welcome our delegation. CcHub is one of Africa's largest networks of Hubs supporting innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • A "reverse picthing" session at Red Cross Kigali where participating Belgian NGOs will pitch their digital needs.
  • A visit to the newly established Carnegie Mellon University and its Industry lab, located in the Kigali Innovation City.
  • A session at the Volkswagen assembly plant to discover their e-mobility programme and approach.
  • A visit to the Mara Phones plant, the very first smartphone 100% assembled and produced in Africa.
  • A visit to the Kampala Innovation Village, combined with a B2B session co-organized with FIT, AWEX and Hub Brussels
  • A closing session at Design Hub in Kampala, organised by Enabel about "Private Sector Development"
  • Receptions hosted by the respective Belgian Embassies

Click here for the short program of the mission, with details of the visits, flights and costs.

 

Registration:

To register for the mission, sign up here. Don't wait, we only have 40 seats!

Your registration will only be confirmed after payment is done.

Conditions:

The price is 1.690 euro per person (without VAT) for startups, non-profits, small and medium sized enterprises, and academics, and 2.590 euro per person (without VAT) for corporates (+250 employees). Prices include accomodation, food, activities and local transport.

Prices exclude flights from Brussels to Kigali (23/03), from Kigali to Kampala (26/03 at 19h30) and from Kampala to Brussels (28/03 evening departure). Once you register, our partner ALK Reizen will automatically send you a flight quote within 72h.

If you do not wish to receive a quote from ALK Reizen and you would like to book your own flights, it is particularly important that all participants take the same flight from Kigali to Kampala (Flight WB 422 at 19:30-21:20 on 26MAR) to fit the program’s schedule.

Important information for your visa: A visa is required to travel to both Rwanda and Uganda. The visa cost is $50 for Rwanda and $50 for Uganda and can easily be obtained on arrival at the airport. Make sure you bring the exact amount in cash.  Alternatively, you can also apply for the East African Visa (which includes Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya). You can apply for this online through this link and you will need need a copy of your passport, a photo ID (smaller than 40KB) and an invitation letter, with which we can provide you.

Questions or not sure if it’s the right event for you?  Contact Frederik Tibau, from Startups.be, +32 497 25 56 01 or frederik.tibau@startups.be or Julie de Bergeyck, Close the Gap, +32 474 99 71 16, julie.de.bergeyck@close-the-gap.org.

 

MORE DETAILS ON SUBSIDIES & FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUR TRAVEL & STAY:

Startups and scale-ups can get a subsidy of Flanders Investment & TradeBrussels Invest and Export or Awex (depending on where your startup/scale-up is based) for this mission that covers about 50 percent of the costs. It’s important that you send them your dossier at the latest two weeks before departure.

Flanders
Brussels
Wallonia

About the organizers

Startups.be is the one stop shop for Belgian tech entrepreneurs. We partner with startups to reach their global ambition, we facilitate joint innovation with business partners worldwide, and we’re the reference center of expertise in the Belgian startup ecosystem. 

Agoria is Belgium's largest employers' organisation and trade association. The companies represented by Agoria are active in 8 markets and 5 industries, all related to technology. Agoria provides services for its members on international business development and specialized technology solutions which focus on enhancing business opportunities for its members.

Close the Gap is an international social enterprise that aims to bridge the digital divide by offering high-quality, pre-owned computers donated by European and international companies to educational, medical and social projects in developing and emerging countries.  Close the Gap also powers other initiatives, such as sustainable e-waste recycling and local entrepreneurship and innovation programs, all contributing to creating impact.

Digital for Development

First of its kind, the Belgian Digital for Development platform was launched in November 2017.  Coordinated by Close the Gap and Agoria.  Its focus is co-creation, creating a knowledge sharing eco system in Belgium on digital for development projects and opportunities, stimulating private sector engagement in the development sector.