AfriConEU – Reflecting on the journey and celebrating our joint impact

After three amazing years, the curtain has closed on the AfriConEU project, but its impact will continue to resonate across the two continents. Launched in 2021 with funding from European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, this ambitious initiative brought together African and European Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) in a vibrant network of collaboration and knowledge exchange, fueled by a vision of building a joint EU and Africa digital innovation ecosystem.

The project was delivered by a consortium of partners across Europe and Africa including ATBN (UK), INOVA+ (Portugal), Emerging Communities Africa (Nigeria), Youthmakers Hub (Greece), Porto Business School (Portugal), OutBox (Uganda), Dpixel (Italy), Stimmuli (Greece), ITC (Slovenia) , Buni Hub (Tanzania) and HapaSpace (Ghana). As a proud partner in this journey, ATBN played a pivotal role in connecting, empowering, and amplifying the voices of African innovators and hub leaders. 

The AfriConEU project set out to establish the first transcontinental Networking Academy for African and European DIHs with following two key objectives: 

  1. Enhance the capabilities of African DIHs by effectively addressing their unique needs and supporting them to secure their long-term sustainability through its flagship Capacity Building Programme. 
  2. Offer concrete opportunities for networking and exchange between DIHs and their communities of practitioners from both continents through the Flagship Transcontinental Partnership Development Programme. 

Through its Networking Academy, bootcamps, resource platforms, and collaborative initiatives, the project fostered a dynamic space for peer-to-peer learning, best practice sharing, and joint venture development.


What did we achieve?

The numbers tell a compelling story:

  • 20 webinars, 12 local workshops and 8 masterclasses were offered to boost the capacities of DIH leaders and startups, impacting over 1500 participants.
  • An international brokerage event and a capitalization event were held bringing together over 1200 digital ecosystem stakeholders across both continents for knowledge and collaboration.
  • 4 successful design thinking boot camps were held in Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Ghana, engaging over 400 individuals, with a 49% representation of women and leading to the establishment of 30 collaborative project ideas.
  • A thriving community of over 3000 African and European DIHs connected through the Networking Academy which empowered DIHs with enhanced skills and tools to support startups and entrepreneurs and accelerated collaboration leading to innovative solutions and joint ventures.
  • Recognition of the AfriConEU as the .eu Web Award 2023 winner in “The Laurels” category.

As a key partner, ATBN was proud to play a key role in the project’s success. We:


Stories of Impact

We are honoured to have been part of this journey and grateful for the opportunity to make a lasting impact on project beneficiaries as well as our partners.

“I come from the Maasai community in Tanzania where 87.5% of the population have experienced harmful cultural practices like early marriage, gender inequality, and women not being allowed to make decisions. My work in the community involves supporting women entrepreneurs to make a living to support their families. AfriConEU has provided me with knowledge which I have used to support and uplift women entrepreneurs in the Maasai community. My AfriConEU journey has been nothing short of inspiring as I went through different webinars and workshops to grow my knowledge in ideation, funding, and developing my business model. The training from AfriConEU helped me in writing the mission and vision statements for my startup and other women owned startups in my network.This project has been impactful and I want to see it extend to more people like me. ” Mariah – AfriConEU Participant from Tanzania 

“ATBN brought invaluable expertise and added significant value to the AfriConEU project. Their role in creating synergies was instrumental in fostering collaboration between the project and similar initiatives, and this collaborative effort had a direct positive impact on the project’s visibility. The webinars organized by ATBN facilitated knowledge exchange within the project communities, the team and beyond. Moreover, their research contributions provided crucial insights that not only shaped the project’s direction but also contributed to its heightened visibility in relevant sectors.”  YouthMakers Hub – AfriConEU Consortium Partner

“The research skills, writing skills and clarity in communication were a big plus to the whole consortium. Truthfully, the whole project rode on the outputs of ATBN’s work. Even though that was ATBN’s assignment, you did not merely handle it as a task but carefully researched and presented the results in a way that made the objectives of other Work Packages clearer.” HapaSpace – AfriConEU Consortium Partner


The Journey Continues

While AfriConEU has concluded, its legacy lives on. The empowered DIHs, fostered connections, and collaborative spirit will continue to drive digital transformation across Africa. ATBN remains committed to this mission, building upon the project’s foundation to further propel Africa’s innovation journey.

Let’s keep the conversation going! Share your thoughts on AfriConEU’s impact and how we can continue to foster innovation in Africa.

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