WIDU.africa online platform: Promoting direct investment in Africa

Project description

Title: Promoting employment in the informal sector in Africa by leveraging diaspora money transfers (WIDU platform)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)​​​​​​​
Country: Ethiopia, Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, Togo, Tunisia
Overall term: 2019 to 2023


In African countries, it is challenging for entrepreneurs in the informal economy to establish or grow a business: they often have insufficient capital and rarely receive loans. At the same time, taking advantage of learning and training opportunities is difficult.

According to estimates by the World Bank, African migrants in Germany send around EUR 1.5 billion each year to family, friends and acquaintances in their home countries. The recipients primarily use this money to meet their day-to-day needs. Only in a few cases are the remittances used for entrepreneurial purposes, despite the fact that this is a great opportunity to sustainably improve economic conditions in Africa.


Company founders and micro and small entrepreneurs in the target countries increase their incomes and create jobs.


WIDU.africa provides grants in connection with existing flows of money from private individuals within the African diaspora in Germany, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and Sweden. The project thus redirects these flows of money into long-term investments in the businesses of relatives or friends in Africa.

The central tool for the project is the online platform WIDU.africa. The platform allows members of the African diaspora in seven European countries, together with friends and relatives living in the six participating African countries, to apply for funding for their business ideas. The focus is on small and micro businesses in the informal economy. The prerequisite is that the project partners already know each other. They also have to be prepared to invest their own funds in the local business. In addition to financial support, sponsored entrepreneurs receive three free coaching sessions customised to their individual needs.

The online platform was developed in partnership with the agency Lucid.berlin – with the involvement of the African diaspora and various fintech companies. All of the project support is handled via the platform: registration and identification, project description, provision of documentation, approval and monitoring.

Last update: February 2022