AfriLabs is excited to announce that we are partnering with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH to support local networks of innovation hubs in Africa. The partnership with the GIZ project Make-IT in Africa supports the organizational development of local tech hub networks and associations, as well as strengthens the connection between tech hub networks and AfriLabs through a series of strategic discussions before and during this year’s AfriLabs Annual Gathering in Nigeria.

In 2019, at the AfriLabs Annual Gathering in Ethiopia, Make-IT in Africa and AfriLabs joined hands in support of emerging local hub networks. A workshop was jointly organized and hosted to discuss challenges and opportunities arising for local hub networks in Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria. The session promoted a better understanding of networks’ mandates and objectives, dialogue and peer exchange, but it also inspired delegates from other countries, like Rwanda, to explore setting up networks of their own. This year, we plan to build on the progress made in 2019 with a series of workshops that continue exploring the added value tech hub networks bring to our ecosystems, the needs of emerging networks and, especially, the support AfriLabs, as well as other ecosystem actors, could provide to such networks.

The insights will be presented during the main panel session on Day 1 of the 2021 AfriLabs Annual Gathering and will cater primarily to tech and innovation hubs and their networks, but will also address entrepreneurs and start-ups, policy makers, development organizations and AfriLabs itself.

“AfriLabs and Make-IT in Africa share the same vision. By creating networks and nurturing regional connections, we both support local partners to lay strong foundations for robust and resilient innovation ecosystems”, says Matthias Rehfeld, Make-IT in Africa’s Head of Programme. “Having laid a great basis for our cooperation in 2019 we now bring our partnership to the next level: we are excited to continue building on the strengths of local hubs networks. ” 

As AfriLabs is in the process of developing its next 10-year strategy, these discussions could not be more timely. The feedback and agreements from the dialogue will inform the strategic direction AfriLabs will take in supporting existing and emerging networks in the future.

AfriLabs Executive Director, Anna Ekeledo says “We are delighted by this partnership as it is very timely and plays a crucial part in improving AfriLabs strategy in enabling innovation. More than ever, we need to strengthen local hub networks if we are to scale quality and relevant innovation support to the startups beyond the reach of the limelight. This is how strategic collaborations promote inclusivity and sustainable growth, and we hope to see more in the near future.”


About the AfriLabs Annual Gathering

The AfriLabs Annual Gathering is AfriLabs’ flagship event which provides a unique opportunity for tech hubs within the AfriLabs network and other stakeholders of the African technology and innovation ecosystem (such as corporates, development agencies, academia, and investors) to convene, network, learn and share knowledge. The 2021 AfriLabs Annual Gathering marks AfriLabs 10th year of existence and the event aims to celebrate and reflect on this milestone, and what the future holds for innovation in Africa.

Be a part of the AfriLabs Annual Gathering, to be held 27-29 October 2021 in Abuja, Nigeria as well as virtually. Register here to access the event. If interested in partnership and sponsorship, please send an email to


About Make-IT in Africa

Make-IT in Africa believes in the catalytic power of African innovation and digital technologies for green and sustainable development. In close collaboration with digital visionaries like start-ups, innovation enablers and political partners, we empower African innovation ecosystems. Together, we aim to strengthen an environment in which the full potential of African digital innovation can unfold. 

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements this project on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

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