About AI Expo Africa 2020 ONLINE Poster Submissions & Innovation Wall

Produced by the AI Media Group and with 3700+ community members, AI Expo Africa is now entering its third successful year and is the largest B2B trade focused Artificial Intelligence, RPA & Data Science business conference in Africa. Learn more at www.aiexpoafrica.com.    The 2020 edition of AI Expo Africa will run ONLINE on 3-4 September 2020 and builds upon the phenomenal success of the 2018 and 2019 events that cemented it as the largest gathering of its kind, with over 1000 registered delegates, decision makers, investors, buyers, suppliers, innovators, SMBs and global brands in the region.

This year we are proudly working with the Embassy of France in SA on the “Innovation Wall” which will be hosting 6 innovation challenges by way of poster competition, each with a prize for the best in category poster.   All poster authors whose posters are approved for the Innovation Wall will receive 1x FREE ticket to the main show and be expected to attend 3rd / 4th September 2020.

Afrique-du-Sud French Embassy

By sponsoring the innovation wall at AI Expo Africa 2020 ONLINE, the French Embassy wishes to reiterate its commitment to supporting the visibility and development of the creativity of African students, entrepreneurs, start-ups and small innovative companies.


Artificial intelligence is a technology area that can address unique and major societal challenges. It is also an area where the sharing of international expertise is necessary. In this context, the embassy has decided to get closer to many partners in South Africa, whose commitment to young people is a priority, and who offer challenges to support this creativity.

Innovation Challenge Partners AI Expo Africa 2020

Innovation Challenge Partners AI Expo Africa 2020

These partners are incubators, governments and French industrial groups as follows and we thank them for their support; The Ocean Hub Africa, The French South African Tech Labs & The 4th Industrial Revolution Incubator, EDF, Dassault System, Engie, Swiss Embassy in SA and SA Dept of Science & Innovation


  • Read the 6 challenges listed in this call and choose ONE
  • Poster format is 1x Portrait format PDF no larger than 10 MB
  • All submissions are to be made via this link  https://forms.gle/Z8D8uHD4TzVNG5WL9


  • 21st Aug – Poster submissions CLOSES
  • 25th Aug – Judge best posters & inform winners
  • 3rd / 4th Sept – Announce winners & prizes at AI Expo Africa 2020

Challenge #1

OHA background

OceanHub Africa is an ocean-impact catalyst supporting blue technology ventures through acceleration programs and leading an international ocean-minded ecosystem. Our mission is to inspire and assist innovative impact start-ups and nurture an environmentally conscious and profitable economy that would effectively mitigate the oceans’ overexploitation, pollution as well as the effects of global warming on the oceans.

The statement of this challenge

Did you know that $23billion is robbed from the global economy every year by illegal fishing! Within a context of global Blue Economy development actions must be undertaken against illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing through global enforcement. Fishing is carefully monitored and controlled in most modern societies in order to use natural resources most efficiently. It requires a permit, quotas are allocated, seasonality and size must be respected and specific gear used for specific fishing. A breach of any of these regulations constitutes illegal fishing. Then, how could we best leverage Artificial Intelligence in order to address this major challenge?

The prize that will be proposed for the winner(s)

Winner will stand a chance to get one month free access to our co-working space at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town (if relevant), get 2x 1h dedicated business coaching sessions to elaborate on the proposed solution and introductions to our international network to fat-track development/adoption of the solution. Based on the outcome of this month in the co-working spaces (if relevant), the business coaching sessions and feedback from our introductions, OHA reserves the right to offer a ticket for acceleration to the winner of this challenge. Terms and conditions apply.

Who can apply

We are looking for smart African individuals living in Africa and that share our passion for oceans. It is important that candidates aspire to transform their proposed solution into a business should the opportunity be verified.

Challenge #2

4IRI Background

The Fourth Industrial Revolution Incubator directly meets the objectives of the National Development Plan 2030 “by drawing on the energies of its people, growing an inclusive economy, building capability- ties, enhancing the capacity of the state, and promoting leadership and partnerships throughout society.”

The Incubator stimulates innovation, and in turn employment, entrepreneurship opportunities, job growth and generally enhances skilled individuals entering the South African market place. Working with various SMME’s, we have been building capability and capacity of 4IRI industries. Using this capability, we can use successes to create a baseline for empowering further SMMEs, job creation and community advancement through skills development.

The capabilities we have are focused around innovative technologies that add value to enhancing the future of industries.

By aligning collaborative efforts to existing conversations such as the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We have put a business case together to create a platform to allow coordinated collaboration to empower communities.

The statement of this challenge

The Covid 19 pandemic has amplified the economic imbalance in South Africa, a lack of basic necessities such as basic healthcare, food, water, energy and sanitization has subjected communities to poverty and left vulnerable.

We therefore challenge South African innovators to create solutions using artificial intelligence to establish a tool that can enable government to evaluate descriptive data that will assist them to reach impoverished areas and deliver services and basic necessities with speed.

The prize that will be proposed for the winner(s)

The winners will be afforded the opportunity to participate in our AI program, access resources that the incubator offers such as technical support, business development support and access to funding for their business venture.

Who can apply

South African innovators with disruptive solutions to the problem statement, These individuals must have a strong business case that has been thoroughly researched. The solutions must be unique.

Preference will be given to those with ITC and analytics background.

Challenge #3

About FSAT Labs

FSAT Labs is an early stage business incubator based in Cape Town South Africa. We support often overlooked entrepreneurs and their highly scalable, high-impact businesses for the betterment of Africa.

Challenge statement

The internet era has made the world becoming more and more competitive and customer experience has become a fantastic opportunity for organisations and government institutions to distinguish themselves and get an advantage over their competitors. With the field of customer experience artificial intelligence (AI) can play a key role in reducing time to service customers all while improving customer satisfaction levels at a fraction of the costs.

We are looking for AI solutions that improve customer experience in any form or function.

The Prize

  • The chosen startup will receive two tickets to AfricArena 2020, Africa’s premium startup summit.
  • The chosen startup will be provided with 6 hours of mentoring and coaching.
  • The chosen startup will be featured in all our communication channels as well as our partner’s channels (French Tech Cape Town, AfricArena, etc)
  • The chosen startup will automatically qualify for round 2 of our incubation program.

Who can apply

We are looking for South African entrepreneurs with early stage AI solutions that improve customer experience.

The challenge is open to entrepreneurs from across South Africa.

Challenge #4

About Engie

ENGIE is the largest independent electricity producer in the world, and one of the major players in natural gas and energy services. The Group has more than 50 years of experience on the African continent and has the unique ability to implement integrated solutions all along the energy value chain, from centralized electricity production to off-grid solutions (solar home systems, mini-grids) and energy services. ENGIE Africa employs nearly 4,000 people, and has 3.15 GW of power generation capacity in operation or construction.  It is a leader in the decentralized energy market, providing clean energy to more than four million people through domestic solar installations and local microgrids.

Challenge statement

The major trends driving energy consumption in sub-Saharan Africa are urbanisation and population growth. These trends are resulting in the outstanding growth of cities in sub-Saharan Africa. Even though Africa is the least urban continent, its future is undoubtedly urban.

Indeed more than 600 million people or 60% of the population living in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity an Africa’s population is projected to double over the next 30 years to over 2 billion and 50% of Africans will potentially be living in cities by 2030.

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #11 “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” is at the core of all SDGs.

The informal economy in Africa plays a big role in the development of these cities. Indeed, in sub-Saharan Africa, informal economy (economic activities that are not regulated and therefore not taxed) represents up to 41% of GDP and provides 85.5% of total employment. This directly impacts the infrastructure of these cities, as authorities are not collecting enough taxes to finance critical infrastructure such as roads, hospitals, and power.

The challenge will consist of using AI and data to identify, study and map the population living in urban unconnected areas and informal settlements in order to understand and forecast the coverage of essential service needs.

The Prize

The winner will have the opportunity to run a 4 months mission aiming at designing, developing and implementing a use case.

Who can apply

We are looking for smart African project holders, start-ups or students living in Africa and that are able to design and develop solution for this use case.

Challenge #5 

About EDF / Dassault Systèmes Challenge

The EDF Group is a world leader in energy, present in all areas of electricity such as generation, transmission and distribution. It is the main player in the French electricity market and has a solid international presence. It has the largest generation fleet and the largest customer portfolio in Europe. EDF has made energy efficiency one of its priorities and is keen to develop this promising segment on the African continent. Energy efficiency is a subject of the utmost economic and environmental importance. In the South African context, improving energy efficiency would contain CO2 emissions but also ease the tension on the electricity grid. Limiting consumption therefore represents a tremendous saving for buildings but also for the South African economy. The same logic could go for many other African countries.

Dassault Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. Its world-leading 3D design software, 3D Digital Mock-Up and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions transform the way products are designed, produced, and supported. Dassault Systèmes’s collaborative solutions foster social innovation, expanding possibilities for the virtual world to improve the real world.  EDF and Dassault Systèmes are collaborating at the occasion of the AI Expo event to propose a challenge for open-innovation. This partnership aims at representing the French excellence and knowledge in the junction of two industries: Energy & Digital.

Challenge statement

Artificial Intelligence is set to revolutionize the energy efficiency sector. The optimization of the data collection and the improvement of data analysis will help to better identify good practices and investments that can be easily profitable. We are therefore looking for innovative solutions that could improve processes and product and thus contribute to the growth of the sector. The theme is « Using Artificial Intelligence to improve Energy Efficiency ».

The Prize

Dassault Systèmes will give the winner of the challenge; the opportunity to design and engineer is concept using best in class Design & Simulation solutions by accessing Dassault Systèmes Public Cloud 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.

Who can apply

All those who share our passion for tomorrow’s energy solutions.

Challenge #6 

The Africa 4IR Open Challenge

Supported jointly by Swiss Embassy SA / France Embassy SA  & South African Department of Science & Innovation. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology area that can address major challenges and where international collaboration is valuable in driving ethical and human-centric AI to enable broad societal and economic benefits. 

By sponsoring a joint challenge at AI Expo Africa 2020 ONLINE, the Embassy of France, the Embassy of Switzerland and the South African Department of Science & Innovation reiterate their commitment to supporting and development of innovative students, researchers, start-ups, entrepreneurs and small companies.

The Africa 4IR Open Challenge aims to promote African University R&D and support start-ups to discover the innovation ecosystems in France and Switzerland, with the possibility of setting up cooperative ventures.

Who can apply

We are looking for African project holders, start-ups or research students living in Africa that have an early-stage big data, AI / 4IR use case or innovation project with an interest in collaborative international partnerships and or application to industry

The Prize

2 distinct categories will be awarded in this challenge

  • Best Startup Poster – shortlisted start-ups will enter a selection phase to validate their visit to France and Switzerland for two weeks in 2021 (date and program to be confirmed). Selected participants will have their flights and accommodation funded **
  • Best Academic Research Poster – the authors of selected posters will win 4x tickets to AI Expo Africa 2021 and 4x tickets to the South African Innovation Summit 2020

** Business must be a South African registered entity to qualify for full funding