MOROCCO – The Africa Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) has partnered Morocco’s Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) to launch the LeadTech Incubation Programme, which will help female entrepreneurs launch and scale businesses.

Selected from different African countries, the participants will have the opportunity to learn from an academic environment surrounded by a mature corporate ecosystem composed of industry leaders for their guidance.

AWIEF and UM6P said LeadTech is an intensive six-month incubation programme dedicated to early stage women-owned and women-led tech startups, aimed at strengthening the presence of African women in the technology sector by supporting 15 promising and innovative tech startups.

“We are extremely excited and proud to work with UM6P to map the path for women empowerment in the technology sector in Africa,” said Irene Ochem, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of AWIEF.

“With LeadTech, we will build a pan-African network of female tech leaders who will serve as role models and demystify the notion that women are not as capable for leadership in technology.”

Lamia Housni, head of the P-Curiosity Lab at UM6P, said the programme was focused on female-run tech startups in the education, healthcare, finance, environment, and biotech spaces.

“The launch of this programme comes at a particular moment when our African citizens are having to change their habits and isolate themselves to reduce the spread of the global pandemic coronavirus disease, COVID-19.

“LeadTech programme becomes more than ever necessary for the development of our continent since it places digital as a solution to deliver services to our communities, essential to their socio-economic inclusion, environmental health, and sustainability of their activities,” she said.

The programme offers tailored training and capacity building, three weeks residency at UM6P in Morocco, space and infrastructure, access to mentors, five months of virtual incubation, and the chance to showcase at the AWIEF 2020 event.

It is open to early-stage female digital startup leaders who are 18 years of age or older and residing in any African country, with innovative, scalable services that integrate digital technologies.