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South African Startups Invited to Apply for Irish Tech Challenge 2024

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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The Tech Challenge was initiated by Irish government Minister Darragh O’Brien in South Africa. This was done as a way to mark St. Patrick’s Day in South Africa.

The Irish Tech Challenge South Africa is a partnership between the Embassy of Ireland in SA, the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), and the Technology Innovation Agency, along with implementing partners such as Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct (South Africa) and Dogpatch Labs in Ireland.

South African startups

The Irish Embassy emphasized that, building on the success of previous iterations, the 2024 technology challenge aims to hasten and motivate the growth of South African tech start-ups, which aligns with the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

South African Startups Can Now Apply For Irish Tech Challenge 2024

The launch, which took place at Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Braamfontein had both countries representatives in attendance. Darragh O’Brien, Ireland’s minister for housing, local government, and heritage, said, “I am delighted to officially launch this year’s Irish Tech Challenge and to announce the expansion of the programme with an increase in the number of entrepreneurs to take part.”

“Ireland is committed to deepening trade and investment relations with South Africa. This includes the promotion of entrepreneurship among women and young people from backgrounds of historical disadvantage.”

“Our partnership with the South African government on the Irish Tech Challenge reminds us of the crucial role of technology and innovation in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and inclusive economic growth.”

South African Startups Which Were Encouraged To Apply

The Irish Embassy further highlighted that companies in categories such as clean and green technology, healthcare, education, and water sanitation and hygiene are particularly encouraged to apply.

This is because they are part of the tech challenges aimed at addressing pressing global challenges, while promoting economic development and job creation in South Africa.

The launch event emphasized the importance of collaboration between governments, academia, and the private sector in driving creativity and socio-economic growth.

It highlighted the role of initiatives like the Irish Tech Challenge in creating a conducive environment for start-ups to thrive and succeed.


Anneline Morgan, chief director for overseas bilateral cooperation at the DSI, noted SA’s dedication to bilateral relations with Ireland on science and innovation.

In line with its commitment to diversity and inclusivity, the Irish Tech Challenge South Africa encourages applications from women, young entrepreneurs, and historically disadvantaged communities. 

By providing a platform for underrepresented groups to showcase their innovations, the challenge aims to create a more inclusive and equitable tech ecosystem.


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Abdullahi Kafayat
Abdullahi Kafayat

Abdullahi Kafayat is an enthusiastic writer interested in the tech world. She's a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University and has a BSc in Chemistry. You can reach her at Kafayatabdullahi17@gmail.com.

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