The Global Startup Awards (GSA) is expanding across Africa. GSA is the largest independent startup ecosystem awards platform with a mission to find, recognise and connect the future shapers of the digital age from all around the world.
Since the preliminary launch of the Southern African chapter in 2018, the focus on African tech innovators and the continent’s ecosystem has become a global priority, with a key indicator of this being the increase in foreign direct investment in African tech startups growing to over $2 billion in 2019 – a 567% increase from 2016, according to Partech Africa Annual Reports. The expansion of GSA Africa will now include all 54 African countries comprising of South, North, East and West African territories thereby providing the continent with immediate access to an established, independent and unified global innovation showcase.
“This expansion is critical as the Awards were born from a vision to overcome borders for collaboration. Now, with the addition of these territories, we are able to connect, support, and celebrate key players in more than 105 countries across 10 regions,” says Péter Kovács , Global Startup Awards Founding Partner.
The expansion will be driven by Loudhailer, an award-winning innovation engagement agency, dedicated to connecting ecosystems to enable key market opportunities and forge global connections. “Africa is earmarked to be the tech continent of the future and is the world’s fastest-growing market, making it crucial to bring African innovation partners into the global GSA network,” says Caitlin Nash, Loudhailer Co-founder and Partner. “Our mission now is to help African startups and partners get noticed, get funded, and get supported to scale faster – enabling world-changing technologies,” adds Jo Griffiths Loudhailer Co-founder and Partner.
For McKevin Ayaba, Co-Founder of the Southern Africa Startup Awards, this expansion is particularly poignant. “A vision that started three years ago has now become a continent-wide celebration of innovation. The purpose of the Awards is to build regional connectivity and global visibility. With Loudhailer at the helm, we’re celebrating Africa and putting African startups, the people behind them, and the organisations that work alongside these visionaries on the map. I couldn’t be more excited.” As GSA extends into Africa in 2020, the Southern Africa Awards have also rebranded in line with the African launch.