Eight African startups have been named as recipients of grants from the GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation, which aims to speed up the testing, adoption, and scalability of digital innovations that help the world’s most vulnerable populations adapt to, anticipate, and absorb the negative impacts of climate change.
The GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation, which was established a year ago, is the GSMA’s most recent project after several other targeted ones in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.
The fund’s goal is to support initiatives that help low-income and vulnerable communities better prepare for, cope with, or absorb shocks or pressures related to the environment. The GSMA received the most proposals in this round’s history, with 524 innovations from 70 different nations requesting funding. In the end, 11 firms were chosen to receive grant funding, eight of which were from Africa.
Three of them are from Nigeria: Crop2Cash, which offers access to agri-insurance and climate smart farming content through a mobile app; Hello Tractor; and CoAmana, which uses weather and historical tractor service demand data to model and optimize tractor service provision. Farmers can use CoAmana to access markets, buy seeds resistant to drought, and access information on best practices and financial services.
The other chosen African startups are Kenya’s Aquarech, which uses mobile technology and Internet of Things sensors to enable market access and create an inclusive aquaculture value chain; Egypt’s BENAA, which uses IoT to help turn waste water into irrigation water; Ethiopia’s Lersha, a one-stop advisory service for smallholder farmers; Liberia’s J-Palm, which gives local harvesters access to ecological, It supports fisheries management with IoT-enabled activity and productivity monitoring tools.
Other startups are based in the Philippines, Pakistan, and Nepal.
Over the term of the funding, the GSMA will assist these entrepreneurs in growing and realizing their full potential in order to support initiatives to increase climate resilience. This will be accomplished by fostering partnerships with mobile operators and public sector organizations, offering technical assistance on how to reach and better serve communities most vulnerable to climate change, providing tools, templates, and expert advisory support on how to demonstrate socioeconomic and climate impact and promote product improvement, and providing opportunities to raise their visibility to potential investors and partners.
The GSMA stated that it hoped to “catalyze these digital solutions” and gain knowledge from “new use-cases, collaborations, and business models” in order to “increase the sustainability and scalability of digital climate resilience solutions.”
“By doing so, the GSMA hopes to encourage this generation of innovators to realize their full potential and contribute to the betterment of the lives of those who are vulnerable to climate hazards,” it says.