BasiGo Wins Best Mobility & Logistics Award At Global Startup Awards Africa

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Kenyan startup BasiGo’s innovative Pay-As-You-Drive model, which lowers the barriers to entry for operators to get brand new electric buses, has helped unlock a pathway to accelerating the adoption of electric buses in Africa.

Here is a summary of BasiGo’s Pay-As-You-Drive program:

  • A single daily subscription fee charged per km driven
  • Billed and paid directly between the operator and BasiGo
  • Includes nightly charging of the battery
  • Includes all standard service and maintenance for the bus
  • Free battery replacement in the event of any battery issue
  • Includes dedicated customer care, roadside assistance, free software upgrades, and more

This plan lowers the barriers to entry for players in Africa’s public transport sector. BasiGo started operating in Kenya, where it plans to have over 1,000 electric buses within the next few years. BasiGo is now expanding its operations to Rwanda with the launch of BasiGo Rwanda Ltd., a new entity focused on electrifying the public transport system in the country. BasiGo has partnered with AC Mobility, Rwanda’s provider of automated fare collection systems for public transport. Through this financing model, BasiGo and AC Mobility aim to deliver two hundred electric buses to bus operators in Rwanda by the end of 2024.

BasiGo is electrifying public transport while saving the environment, and is now getting more well deserved recognition for all this work. In the latest recognition, BasiGo took the top award for Mobility and Logistics at the Global Startup Awards (GSA) Africa Summit recently held in Addis Ababa. The GSA Africa, in collaboration with the Global Innovation Initiative Group (GIIG), the Ethiopian Ministry of Labour and Skills (MOLS), the Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MInT), with the support of the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) Ethiopia, revealed the names of 16 overall African category winners.

“This award is a testament to the strides we have made in contributing to a sustainable and inclusive public transport system in Kenya, and soon in Kigali,” shared Moses Ndiritu, Chief Revenue Officer of BasiGo. “We strongly believe that E-mobility solutions are critical for climate change mitigation, especially in Africa which bears the largest brunt of climate change. To this end, we remain committed to championing clean, public transit in Africa through well designed, sustainable, and cost-effective electric buses. In 3 years’, time, we aim to have deployed 1,000 buses in East Africa.”

“It is amazing to be named a winner, we have been working hard with the whole team. Making electric buses a daily reality in Africa sounds so far-fetched but to come here, pitch and hear people saying that what we are doing is leading the future of African transport and then to win is ridiculous. It is the ultimate validation that we are facilitating a critical transition for Africa and have the operational experience to scale this. I did not know much about Ethiopia but now I am finding that there is a huge opportunity here to electrify public transport. It is good to be recognized, it is good to win something and it is also good to be part of a solution that affects all people.”

The organizers of the awards said the winners in this category competed against 2,682 entrants from the region and were among more than 8,200 GSA Africa entrants overall.

This year’s winners will also have the exclusive opportunity to engage with GIIG, the competition’s dedicated investment partner. Through its GIIG Africa Fund and the GIIG Africa Foundation, the organization aims to find, fund, and grow African solutions to globally relevant challenges.

The year-long competition saw entrants compete at a national level before vying for their spot as regional finalists. Winners were then decided by an independent panel of judges, offering a holistic view of the African tech ecosystem.

Jo Griffiths, co-founder of the GSA Africa and GIIG, highlighted, “The Global Startup Awards Africa aims to raise the visibility of African innovation as a unifying mechanism that transcends borders, cultures, and nationalities as well as the diverse maturity levels of the various startup ecosystems. It provides a common language for us all, fostering understanding and connection, and providing a platform to implement a shared vision of scaled impact.”

Caitlin Nash, co-founder of GSA Africa and GIIG, added, “The GSA Africa Summit is an enabler of collaborative transformation – of Africa’s emerging startup nations, founders, and communities leveraging and amplifying Africa’s growing influence in the global community. It is our mission to find and support these operators and innovators of Africa – these are the young leaders with the ideas, energy, local knowledge, commitment, and experience that will build this continent. We have an always-on call out for organizations that share this vision to partner with us on our GIIG Fund and Foundation work that delivers this support, especially ahead of the new program starting in January 2024.”

Her Excellency Muferihat Kamil, Minister of Labour and Skills, shared, “Ethiopia has big ambitions. We believe it is our turn to shape tomorrow’s world. It is Africa’s turn to herald a new world, a more equitable, more humanity-centred, and more just world. It will be all of us standing tall, and Africa standing tall, Africa assuming its rightful place in the world, Africa ceasing to be a synonym for poverty, social malaise, and hopelessness, and Africa becoming the new frontier for innovation and economic vitality.” H.E. Kamil encouraged all startups, “As you go home, go home with Africa’s future on your shoulders, with Africa’s dream for salvation in your hearts.”

His Excellency Dr Belete Molla Getahun, Minister of Innovation and Technology, said, “If African countries are to truly reap the benefits of the demographic dividends from their sizeable young population, it is extremely necessary to support entrepreneurship and startups with a sense of urgency and purpose. Here, we must leverage this platform to learn from other countries’ experiences and to share yours as well as your country’s vision of going global by fostering a local innovation ecosystem. This is the building of a community of disrupters ready to make its mark on the global startup ecosystem. The world will soon feel your impact, from Lagos to Lilongwe, Cape Town to Cairo. You are the fearless makers and shakers. With you at the helm, steering us forward, there will be light ahead.”

Some of the key partners for the GSA Africa summit included UNICEF, UNDP, Grant Thornton Ethiopia, the Mayor’s Office Addis Ababa, Development Bank Ethiopia, First Consult, and Loudhailer Global.

The GSA Africa awards began in 2021, a journey that has led to over 15,000 African innovators nominated from fifty-four countries, support of three hundred jury members, ambassadors, and hundreds of innovation hubs across the continent. This season’s 16 African winners span diverse categories in the start-up ecosystem, showcasing the depth and diversity of the continent’s ability to build human-needs-driven innovation for all levels of societal inclusion.

Here is the full list of winners for all the categories:

Startup of the Year: Hiryo (Egypt), a women’s safety and anti-harassment app that uses high-end tech like AI to support women, help them feel safer, and fight gender-based violence.

Best Newcomer: Awabah (Nigeria), a digital technology company focused on building wealth and providing financial sustainability to informal sector workers, secured this award. Awabah CEO, Tunji Andrews, reflected, “I was blown away by the organization of what is a truly Pan-African celebration of entrepreneurship. Innovation from all across the continent was on display and it was truly a pleasure to share and learn from every startup present. Also having an opportunity to interact with the GSA Africa and GIIG team was amazing because they not only understood our vision, but they also saw our future and I only hope we get to work together and make Africa an awesome place. This is our first international award and a testament to our growth as a business and the validity that great ideas can come to life.”

Best Mobility and Logistics: BasiGo (Kenya), is a startup focused on creating the future of clean, electric public transport in Africa. The company’s Pay-As-You-Drive financing solutions make electric buses affordable to all bus owners in Nairobi.

Best Greentech: Coffee Resurrect (Ethiopia), the first biotech company in Africa to create 100% natural personal care, nutraceutical, and food ingredients from coffee waste, claimed Best GreenTech. “GSA Africa will help us impact entrepreneurs across Africa and beyond,” adds Almaw Molla, founder of and CEO at Coffee Resurrect Inc. “It [will] help us to steadfastly adhere to a circular business model and continue to develop local solutions to address global challenges.”

Best Edtech: Dataleum (Nigeria), a tech training and consulting firm that has trained over 16,000 individuals on premium tech skills. “We take this as a call to do more — to triple our efforts in making more impact in the Tech Talent Ecosystem and to keep making our great nation proud,” said Bode Roberts, CEO and Co-Founder of Dataleum Limited. Debbie Dosunmu, Group Head of Corporate Communications, added, “I think this award is going to propel us to do better and push our business out there globally and reach out to youth who need our services.”

Diversity Role Model of the Year: Developers in Vogue (Ghana) took home the prize for empowering a community of women to use tech for Africa and beyond. “This award means we are a step in the right direction, and we can build the best Africa for Africans,” says Rhoda Agyeiwaa Oduro, Business and Operations Manager at Developers in Vogue.

Best HealthTech: Emergency Response Africa (Nigeria) is connecting individuals experiencing a medical emergency to deliver care in minutes using technology. “Winning the health tech award is truly an honor for us at Emergency Response Africa. It is a powerful reminder that our vision of an Africa where everyone can access emergency help in less than 10 minutes resonates. The visibility and opportunity for investment that come with this award will have a significant impact, not only in saving lives but supporting us to lead the building out of a critical industry,” shares CEO and co-founder Olufolakemi Owodunni.

Founder of the Year: Freeziana.com (Egypt), an e-commerce website that is empowering women and marginalized handcraft makers, claimed this coveted award. Founder of the Year Hadeer Shalaby highlights “Being honored as the Founder of the Year at the GSA Africa Summit is a humbling recognition of our journey, a testament to Africa’s entrepreneurial potential, and an inspiration to strive for even greater success.”

Ecosystem Hero: Hani W. Naguib is a leading Egyptian Business Designer and Innovation Consultant bringing a decade of experience in preparing executives and entrepreneurs to become innovators. He shared his perspective on the recognition he received from GSA Africa: “Getting recognized by GSA Africa has already helped spread the word about the quality of my volunteered mentorship sessions to more early-stage founders. As a community, our role is to support each other in times of need, especially in the current global challenges. GSA Africa offers a great platform to make an impact in terms of supporting the talented innovators of our continent.”

VC of the Year: Mo Angels (Mauritius), the first syndicated angel investment group in Mauritius working in funding early-stage startups.

Best Web 3.0 Startup: Momint (South Africa) is a leading Web3 app in Africa, using blockchain to address Payment, Opportunity, and Identity with a focus on energy. “We are honored and humbled to win the best Web3 category at the Global Startup Awards for Africa. This is a recognition of our passion and tireless dedication of the team. We are proud to represent South Africa and follow the footsteps of the Springboks — as their story represents transformation, unity, diversity, resilience, and a commitment to making a positive impact, at Momint we strive to do the same.”

“This is just the start of our journey. We have a vision to create a decentralized and sustainable energy network across the entire continent. Web3 is simply a tool that will enable us to achieve this goal and leapfrog the rest of the world. We are forever grateful for the support of everyone who shares this vision and the trust of our community of solar certificate owners, who are an integral part of building and owning this critical energy infrastructure alongside us.”

Best Agritech Startup: MooMe (Tunisia) is a startup that offers innovative software and hardware to monitor dairy farming production. “Hard work always pays off,” says Ahmed Ben Achballah, MooMe founder and CEO. “We have been building MooMe step-by-step within a very complicated sector and market. This recognition sheds more light on a specific type of African agritech startup focus for dairy and livestock farming.”

Best Co-working Space: Tech Buzz Hub (Uganda) is a hub dedicated to creating inclusive workspaces, with a mission to help young entrepreneurs fulfill their enterprise dreams and vision through coworking spaces and providing facilities and infrastructure.

Best Accelerator/Incubator Programme: The American University in Cairo Venture Lab (Egypt) is Egypt’s first university-based startup accelerator for helping innovation-driven and passionate entrepreneurs build Egypt’s next generation of tech startups. Founding Director Ayman Ismail expressed his enthusiasm at the news of AUC Venture Lab being selected as the Top Accelerator in Africa for the second time at GSA Africa Summit: “I am very excited to see AUC Venture Lab selected as the Top Accelerator in Africa for the second time at GSA Africa Summit! We have been championing entrepreneurship in Egypt for the past decade, and recognitions like this one are not only a testament of our work but, most importantly, a reflection of our entrepreneurs’ impact on the community, the economy, and livelihoods across the continent. We are confident that the entrepreneurs’ hard work and innovation will create a brighter tomorrow for Africa.”

Best Commerce Tech: Zofi Cash (Uganda), a startup that is revolutionizing how salaried individuals access their wages. “Becoming a winner for the Global Startup Awards Africa feels like an incredible achievement for Zofi Cash and the clients and businesses we are working with,” says Zofi Cash founder and CEO, Paul Kirungi. “Scoring this nomination showcases the great work we are doing in the fintech industry and validates our efforts to create a better financial future for everyone. A decade ago, Africa was exporting crafts, now we are exporting revolutionary technologies across African borders and globally.”

Future Shaper Award: Zuri Health (Nigeria) is a virtual hospital platform that provides affordable and accessible healthcare services to patients across sub-Saharan Africa via a mobile app, website, WhatsApp bot, and SMS service. “Receiving the Future Shaper Award at the African Startup Awards is an incredible honor for Zuri Health. This award comes with a great responsibility to continue our efforts towards creating a healthier future for Africa.”

 


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