UK to recognise African tech companies

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The United Kingdom’s Department for Business and Trade has announced the official opening of its Unicorn Kingdom: Pathfinder Awards, targeted at start-up companies specialising in artificial intelligence, Connected & Automated Mobility Technology, Cyber Security and Digital Trade Solutions from across Africa.

In a statement signed by the Senior Press & Public Affairs Officer and Communication Lead, Prosperity and Economic Development, Ndidiamaka Eze, on Tuesday, the UKDBT said that it was on the hunt to unearth the most promising tech start-up companies across the world through the awards.

The UK Investment Minister, Dominic Johnson, said, “These awards are a fantastic opportunity for tech scale-up companies to join the UK’s thriving $1 trillion tech sector.

“The awards are part of our commitment across government to help more businesses scale up and benefit from our highly skilled workforce and supportive regulatory system. The UK already has more unicorns than France and Germany combined, and our country continues to be a place where tech businesses from across the world come to thrive.”

The UK Trade Commissioner for Africa, John Humphrey, speaking on the awards, said, “The African startup landscape is now front and centre as the world focuses on African know-how and innovation.

From bustling tech hubs across the continent from North to South and East to West, young businesses are changing the game by providing innovative solutions to African and global problems while creating jobs and empowering their communities in the process.

“The launch of the Unicorn Kingdom: Pathfinder Awards across Africa, which offers tech start-ups from across this vibrant continent the opportunity to showcase their innovation and potential on a global scale while opening up fascinating opportunities for the UK’s already vibrant tech ecosystem, is an exciting journey of growth and success.”

The Unicorn Kingdom: Pathfinder Awards were first announced by the UK’s Secretary of State for Business and Trade, Kemi Badenoch, during her keynote speech at London Tech Week 2023.

According to the statement, companies can only apply for one category, with one regional winner per category and one overarching category winner. Applications opened on March 1 and will close on April 30.