What is the Africa Earth Observation Challenge?

The Africa Earth Observation (AEO) Challenge is an annual open innovation challenge aimed at sourcing novel space technologies since 2016. This challenge seeks to drive entrepreneurial activity in the African space industry and promote awareness of the value of earth observation data across the continent and in multiple sectors such as water and food security, mining, logistics, insurance, and many more.

Earth observation gathers information about the planet’s physical, chemical, and biological systems via remote-sensing technologies. This information can then be used to monitor changes in natural and artificial environments.

Why Now?

  • The African space-tech sector is one of the fastest-growing markets globally, but it is still significantly underexploited. This sector represents a massive investment opportunity.
  • The African Union has identified earth observation as a critical resource that must be leveraged in achieving Africa’s development goals.
  • One of the best ways to grow this sector is through an open innovation challenge.


  • To identify the most promising innovators, entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses across Africa and develop them into sustainable companies
  • To develop Africa’s geospatial readiness so that African businesses can service African demand for geospatial intelligence


1. Search process:

African innovators & entrepreneurs invited to submit novel business ideas.


Finalists enter 2-week business development support programme to take their companies to the next level.

3. Pitching den:

Participants pitch to a panel of judges and other industry players. Winners receive a range of prizes.

4. Ongoing entrepreneur support:

All participants are empowered with ongoing support to build sustainable businesses.


Selected entrepreneurs pitch to a panel of VCs for investment.



What’s in it for the winners?

There are various prizes that will be up are for grabs for the Challenge finalists, including:

cash prize


For the first time the Africa Earth Observation challenge will be awarding cash prizes to finalists.

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Incubation & Mentorship

4-month online incubation and virtual mentorship.

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Media publicity

Challenge finalists will have the opportunity to feature in interviews and editorials by Challenge Media Partner Africa.com


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Technical Support

Technical support will be available to the Challenge participants from the leading EOD specialising organisations.

2021 Africa Earth Observation Challenge Final Pitching Den

11 November 2021,
18:00 CAT