Shutterstock 1961087689
Blog Article — January 27, 2023 — Anna Vambe

How might we ensure that digital startups and local companies in Africa benefit from the green hydrogen boom?

Turning water into gold?

What is the green hydrogen boom all about? Let’s look at the facts: Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. Hydrogen is light, storable, energy-dense, and produces no direct emissions of pollutants. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency IRENA, the green hydrogen potential is estimated to be twenty times the global primary energy demand in 2050. Of course, there is a “but”: on Earth, hydrogen is not readily available but most of our hydrogen is attached to oxygen atoms and therefor found in water. So, if we find a clean and cost-efficient way to produce hydrogen, this element may provide the key to powering our planet sustainably.

The next big thing

At Make-IT in Africa, we support African digital innovation ecosystems. Green hydrogen may or may not be the next big thing, but we believe it has the potential to be a game changer in the green tech space. Innovation is a lot about trusting in potential and future breakthroughs. Therefore we ask ourselves: How might we ensure that digital startups and local companies in Africa benefit from the green hydrogen boom? What can we do that local innovators not only participate in green hydrogen developments but eventually also drive them?

Shutterstock 1961087689

© petrmalinak/

How to foster inclusive innovation?

The hydrogen landscape has many areas where digital innovation can play a role: from producing green hydrogen to its storage, processing, and finally, using it, for example, as a source of power. We have many questions: what will the future hydrogen value chain and ecosystem look like in African countries? Which ones are the preferred scenarios in terms of inclusive innovation? Which decisions do we need to take today to get to the future we want? Which opportunities exist for African startups and local SMEs? How can they benefit from the high investment into hydrogen production plants and the necessary infrastructure like ports and pipelines?

ii2030 Green Hydrogen in Africa Edition

Our partner Endeva will explore these questions in its “ii2030 Green Hydrogen in Africa edition” with a system and multi-stakeholder perspective. ii2030 stands for inclusive innovation for the future. The answers will inform further interventions to support African innovation ecosystems in the green tech space. Endeva will create system maps for Kenya, Namibia and South Africa, yet scan the whole continent for promising startups, including countries like Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, and Nigeria.

“The green hydrogen boom is like a gold rush. Everybody wants to be there first and grab the resources. Yet, it is a sector that needs significant investments and bears a considerable risk of excluding smaller and local actors. Therefore, it is now the right moment to reflect on a desirable future and create an inclusive green hydrogen value chain.”

Claudia Knobloch, Project Lead Endeva

Endeva Day2 SD 08

Participants during former ii2030 workshops on the topic Smart Cities in Kigali, Rwanda in 2022. © Endeva

The ii2030 Green Hydrogen in Africa Edition was kicked-off in December 2022 with an initial inception, followed by a consultation phase. In May and June 2023, a selected group of stakeholders will co-create solutions to reconfigure or create a desirable innovation ecosystem where African digital startups and local companies benefit from the green hydrogen boom. For more information about the ii2030 Green Hydrogen in Africa Edition” check out the project website or contact Endeva’s project lead Claudia Knobloch (


Anna Vambe is a member of our Make-IT in Africa team, based in Germany.

Related posts
  • Make IT IWD23 16x9 01 gespiegelt
    Women, AHEAD!
    #EmbraceEquity is this year’s theme for #InternationalWomensDay. On the lead-up to March 8th, let’s commemorate women, their achievements, and their allies by highlighting those who inspire us.
    Blog Article — February 28, 2023 — Aneth Batamuliza
  • Landscape small
    Masterclasses: Blue Tech for ESOs and Business Angel Investors
    Are you an ESO Manager or Business Angel Investor and would like to deepen your know-how of the Blue Tech sector? Join our virtual masterclasses in collaboration with Ocean Hub Africa and Viridian.
    Event — March 28, 2023 — March 29, 2023 — Linda McLeod
  • DSC 3526
    AfriLabs Annual Gathering 2022: The ecosystem future is female
    We met with over 300 pan-African innovation enablers at the AfriLabs Annual Gathering. Our goal: highlighting female leadership. Read about Aneth and Sue's experience in Lusaka.
    Blog Article — December 19, 2022 — Aneth Batamuliza
  • Col 1
    Conversations to spur sustainable and seamless mobility in Africa
    Innocent Orikiiriza, Founder and CEO of KaCyper Technologies – an e-mobility tech startup from Uganda – looks back on our delegation trip to the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona.
    Blog Article — December 19, 2022 — Innocent Orikiiriza
  • Fintech Accel 2 1
    Next Generation of Ghana FinTech Innovation celebrated during the Ghana Digital Innovation Week 2022
    Startups from our NextGen FinTech Accelerator programme pitched at the Ghana Digital Innovation Week in November 2022.
    News Article — December 14, 2022 — Doreen Aglago-Cofie

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date.

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.