Digital Energy Challenge – Call for Applications

The Digital Energy Facility launched the Digital Energy Challenge in 2021 for a period of four years, with an annual call for projects.

The objective of the Challenge is to support the development of innovative solutions for access to energy, the integration of renewable energies and the improvement of the performance of energy operators.

The digital revolution is essential to solve the problems of access to energy in developing countries. In Africa alone, 600 million people, 1 in 2 in sub-Saharan Africa, do not have access to electricity. 

Innovative technologies and new business models are making significant progress in energy access through on-grid and off-grid solutions in urban and rural areas. 

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Contributing to the United Nations sustainable development goal of ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy, AFD has set up the Digital Energy Facility , a program co-financed by the Union European Union, with the participation of ADEME , aimed at supporting the digitization and modernization of the energy sector.

Find the 2022 edition here  and its winners here.

WHO CAN APPLY? – Digital Energy Challenge

The 2023 Digital Energy Challenge call for projects is dedicated to projects located in Africa and led by:

ELIGIBLE COUNTRIES (2023 EDITION) – Digital Energy Challenge

South Africa, Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Comoros, Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea -Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe , Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Chad, Togo, Tunisia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE INCLUDED? – Digital Energy Challenge

Projects must be based on digital technology (telecommunications, IT or cloud). They must be innovative, either intrinsically or in comparison to the local market or country situation. 

Finally, projects should be locally anchored, with project management activities established in the project country. 


The project must fall under one of the following three themes:

AWARDS FOR WINNERS – Digital Energy Challenge

Each year, the Challenge will reward 2 to 3 partnership projects between energy operators and suppliers of innovative technologies or services, and 5 to 8 projects led by start-ups. 

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An annual budget of €1.8 million will provide grant funding, technical assistance and strategic support. Winners will be eligible for the following benefits:

  • a financial contribution in the form of a grant for the purchase of equipment and software, or to cover training needs, recruitment costs for start-ups or the cost of purchasing products/services borne by suppliers of innovative technologies and/or services for energy operators
  • technical assistance for all energy operators and for certain start-ups chosen on a case-by-case basis, such as the provision of project management assistance, strategic and technical expertise or accounting assistance and reporting
  •  bootcamp-type workshops involving multi-sectoral experts to support the implementation of projects, promote synergies between the winners and share good practices
  • increased visibility of the project thanks to communication campaigns led by AFD and widely relayed on social networks during the selection phase, the award ceremony, the boot camp and for some time after these events have been held .

HOW TO APPLY? – Digital Energy Challenge

For more information on each category and to apply, go to the pages: 

KEY DATES – Digital Energy Challenge

  • Opening of the call for projects: March 1, 2023
  • Information webinars:  March 14, 2023
    Click here to register for the webinar in French at 11:00 CET.
    Click here to register for the webinar in English at 2:00 p.m. CET.
  • Deadline for submitting applications: May 15, 2023 – 11:59 p.m. CET
  • Announcement of winners and bootcamp: fall 2023

For more information or to be added to the Challenge contact list, contact us .
Download the Challenge brochure




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Simon Tyrus Caine

Simon Tyrus Caine is a solar energy expert with more than 10 years experience in the solar sector. Simon has worked and lived in more than 5 countries. Simon has been involved in solar installations, solar project development, solar financing as well as business development in the solar sector. At SolarEyes International, Simon manages content development and day to day operations of the organisation.

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