Start-ups eye big opportunities at Dubai expo

The African Union (AU) will for the first time participate in a World Expo to be held in Dubai next year

The World Expo is one of the oldest and largest global events, taking place every five years and lasting six months.

Dubai won the bid to host the expo in November 2013. It was dubbed ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.

Organisers say AU plays a critical role in promoting Africa’s growth and development by highlighting home-grown solutions for an integrated continent.

The AU will showcase to the world the power of collaboration in building a more prosperous and integrated Africa during the event.

The collective effort of the 55 AU member States to implement Agenda 2063, addresses issues in agriculture, transport, science and technology, health, ICT as well as those relating to legal and financial matters, exemplifies Expo 2020 message of collaboration.

The event will be a key platform for all AU States to strengthen their relationship with the UAE and the globe.

More than 190 countries are expected to participate, as well as companies, non-government organisations and educational institutions.

Showcase innovations

Innovators from Across Africa, including Kenya, will also showcase their products at the event.

Dubai has given out 14 grants to start-ups that operate in Africa and more are expected to be awarded.

The Nanyuki-based start-up Eco Fuels Kenya is one of the beneficiaries.

The firm is developing the use of nuts from the croton tree for energy – with huge potential for economic and environmental benefits for Kenya and East Africa. Expo Live funding will support the improvement and scaling of croton supply chain in Kenya.

Two start-ups from South Africa - Munch Bowls and Mobbisurance – have also benefited from Expo Live’s funding. In Ghana, Unique Quality Product Enterprise has benefited while in Nigeria, WAVE and MOBicure are beneficiaries.