WHat is twiga?

TWIGA is a bilateral initiative between the Republic of South Africa and the United Republic of Tanzania towards the promotion of collaboration and innovation between the start-up ecosystems and hubs in the two countries, particularly focusing on the Digital Health and Food Security sectors.



  • Hold nationality and ID from South Africa or Tanzania
  • Start-up representatives must be between 18 and 35 year old A minimum of two (2) members per start-up ( A good team compliment: we encourage individual applicants to apply however they must look into adding relevant skill compliment in their team.)
  • Authorized to submit this/the application by the member
  • Start-up must be a registered business located in South Africa orTanzania
  • Start-up must have a scalable business model
  • Developing and finalizing a functional prototype or at least at a technology readiness level 4 or having a minimum viable product that  can be tested.
  • Exhibit growth potential and commercial viability
  • Team shows commitment and ability, and is capable to commercialise the product.


South Africa and Tanzania hosted challenge creation workshops with key stakeholders and identified two grand challenges that are critical for the growth and sustainability of African continent. In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic it has become critical to support innovations that focus on sustainable Food security solutions and safeguards the Health of our people. South Africa and Tanzania have endorsed the challenges listed below:

Food Security: digital solutions that focus on food security.

- Indigenous knowledge
- Access to market and supporting channels within relevant ecosystems..
- Counterfeit products and food technology expertise
- Access to funds/Grants.
- Digital Agriculture solutions.
- Food supply and waste solutions
- Food delivery.


- Indigenous knowledge systems
- Health Insurance
- Service delivery
- Logistics( medical supply chains solutions)
-digital health solutions.
- Mental health solutions
- Support tools for medical practitioners

Start-up acceleration support to be offered

  • Start-up grants to selected start-ups.
  • Incubation office space, board room, and free wifi
  • Business development, market validation, customer engagement, and market launch.
  • Intellectual Property and technology commercialisation support.
  • Soft landing of start-ups in Tanzania and South Africa.
  • Mentorship and coaching.
  • Hubs capacity building programmes.
  • Digital tools including Amazon Web Service Credits.

Selection Process

After the application deadline 31 August 2020, an adjudication panel will evaluate the applications and select start-up finalists for each country by September. Selected start-up teams will be invited to participate in a Bootcamp and pitch contest in October.  The final start-up selection will take place after the pitching contest, thereafter the Acceleration programme will kick starts at rheend of October.

Application Timeline


Call for Proposal


Proposal Review and Selection


Boot camp and Mentoring


Pitching and Judging


Acceleration Suport


The first engagements were structured as workshops hosted in Tanzania in early 2017 with the aim of exploring the opportunities and sectors for possible innovation collaboration. This workshop produced a proposal for collaboration between COSTEC, mLab and Buni to host activities in developing commercially viable innovations within the Health and Agricultural sectors. Further engagements and workshops were hosted during 2017 to further refine the programme scope.

Call for proposal
Get started by submitting your proposal for any of the challenges