ITC

Senegal tech firms see gains at Europe’s biggest startup event

Top Senegalese start-ups eye 37 deals after Viva AfricArena and VivaTech in Paris.

Positioning Senegal as an African digital powerhouse

Since 2016, VivaTech has made its mark as the European epicenter of innovation and digital technology. With more than 2,000 exhibitors from across the globe, the trade show offers unparalleled access to international customers, major investors and new markets.

Senegal has emerged as one of Africa’s five main tech hubs, making the event from 15 to 18 June a key opportunity. The country’s most promising startups went to Paris with support from the NTF V project, the French Embassy in Dakar, and the Senegalese government’s agency for entrepreneurship – known as the Délégation générale à l’Entreprenariat Rapide des Femmes et des Jeunes (DER/FJ).

In just a few days, these “Tech Lions” initiated more than 37 deals. According to DER/FJ’s Carine Vavasseur, these excellent results validate the attractiveness of Senegal’s tech ecosystem.

“Senegal is at the crossroads of French-speaking Africa, with mature start-ups that are ready to be exported. Our well-organized business environment facilitates collaborations,” said Vavasseur, the head of innovation and ecosystem coordination at DER/FJ.

“The creation of the Mohamed Bin Zayed hub for entrepreneurship and innovation is proof of this. Senegal is attracting more and more investors, but also companies from all over the continent which are interested in our innovation platform. Senegal is in a state of dynamic openness. And this is what we would like to demonstrate by participating in international events such as VivaTech.”

Feeding inspiration and growing the network

Since founding Logidoo two years ago, Tamsir Ousmane Traore has revolutionized logistics in West Africa. His award-winning platform has become the region’s go-to platform for transport.

By 2023, Logidoo plans to expand its franchise network to 13 African countries. Traore visited VivaTech amid his drive to raise 1.5 million euros to finance that growth.

His trip to Paris let him meet leading investors and take the pulse of global innovations.

“The day before VivaTech, the Viva AfricArena conference took place. We were able to visit Station F, one of the most prestigious start-up campuses in the world. To see what others are doing and where the world is heading is inspiring, and essential for staying in the race.”

In the following days, Logidoo had many meetings at the VivaTech booth.

“Many partners wanted to meet, and VivaTech gave us the space to do so. We also had the opportunity to identify prospects and attract new operators,” Logidoo said.

“Thanks to VivaTech, we recruited our franchisee for the Congolese market. Participating in such big events means being able to show off, interact with the community and grow your networks. This is what the NTF V project helps us do. If we want to meet our growth objectives and add new functionalities to our solutions in the future, such support is essential.”

About the project

The Netherlands Trust Fund V (NTF) (July 2021 – June 2025) is based on a partnership between the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Trade Centre. The programme supports small businesses in sub-Saharan Africa in the digital technology and agribusiness sectors. It aims at contributing to an inclusive and sustainable transformation of agri-food systems partly through digital solutions, improving the competitiveness of local tech start-ups internationally and supporting the implementation of IT&BPO companies’ export strategies.

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