Innovative services at the center of the Africa-China friendship competition

by MMC
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Innovative services at the center of the Africa-China friendship competition

Ti Gong

Chinese and African participants in the semi-final of the 2023 China-Africa Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition for the digital economy and innovative services sub-group

Five teams will present their creative ideas to promote cooperation between China and Africa through digital economy and innovative services at the 2023 China-Africa Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition to be held later this month -this in Wuhan, in Hubei province.

The competition, the second of its kind, is organized by the Department of International Cooperation of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, the China Science and Technology Exchange Center and the Department of Science and Technology of Hubei Province.

This year, the event focuses on the theme “Science, technology and innovation contribute to the sustainable development of China-Africa partnership.” During the preliminary rounds and semi-finals, the teams compete in three subgroups: digital economy and innovative services; circular economy and industrial manufacturing; and health care and modern agriculture.

The Digital Economy and Innovative Services subgroup hosted by Tongji University received 39 start-up programs initiated by students and budding entrepreneurs from China and 14 African countries, including Nigeria and Ethiopia. Twenty-four of them qualified for the semi-final in Tongji last Saturday and five qualified for the final.

Among the winners were a team consisting of three African students from Tongji and two other serving officers from Morocco and Mauritius, who proposed a concept for a fintech cross-border payment system between China and Africa.

Adeboye Awomuti, a member of the Nigeria team and Tongji’s doctoral student, said their system, AfricPay, was designed to address the long-standing challenges of cross-border payments between Africa and China.

“Over the years, we have observed that when it comes to cross-border payment, African buyers still have a problem finding dollars or RMB to exchange for events that they could use to purchase their products,” he said. -he declares. “This has limited trade between China and Africa.

“We are providing a solution that would allow African merchants to purchase and make payments very easily and quickly to China, in the sense that they could always pay with their local currency.

“And their Chinese sellers’ accounts in China will be reflected in RMB. We are trying to introduce Chinese blockchain and artificial intelligence technologies to make sure this is all set up and secure.”

Awomuti said they would start testing the system from Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and largest economy, and then expand its reach across the African continent, connecting economies, reducing transactional barriers and creating a corridor of growth and financial opportunities.

“AfricPay is not just a fintech platform; it is the bridge that connects Africa and China, facilitating growth and prosperity,” he said.

The other winning teams presented the judges with a solution for the sustainable supply and management of drinking water in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa; an e-commerce platform that enables multi-currency payments; a long-term project that aims to develop and modernize an existing private beach business in Djibouti while protecting endangered species; and a multilingual translator app that supports mutual translation feature in 56 languages ​​including Hindi, English and Marathi.

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