Innovation Prize for Africa 2018 – offering $185,000 to the most innovative African ideas

Five years ago, The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) launched the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) to support African innovators by unlocking their potential and catalyzing the African innovation spirit, promoting home-grown solutions for Africa’s prosperity. Today, IPA is a leading platform on the African innovation landscape; it has a network of 6000+ African innovators spanning 50 countries; 45 of the continent’s top innovators and 35+ innovation enablers.

IPA catalyses innovation in Africa through providing a unique platform for showcasing innovative ideas that create value or solve old and new challenges. These include building the capacity of innovators across Africa, propelling African ingenuity, and preparing innovators for global markets. IPA offers a total cash share prize to the value of US$185 000, awarded annually to three winners and 7 nominees after a rigorous selection and judging process:

  • US$ 100,000 for the Grand Prize winner with the best overall innovation.
  • US$ 25,000 Second Prize for the innovation with the best commercial and business potential.
  • US$ 25,000 Special Prize for the innovation with highest social impact
  • US$ 5,000 vouchers for each of the 7 nominees.
  • All top innovators are also invited to join the exclusive community of innovators, ZuaHub

Calls for 2018 participants is now open and guided by five key categories: Agriculture and Agri-business, Environment, Energy and Water, Health and Well-being, ICTs, and Manufacturing and Service Industries. Participants must demonstrate impactful, scalable, market-oriented innovative solutions as well as prove how these solutions can boost socio-economic prosperity in Africa.

Here are some more facts IPA:

  • The goal of IPA is to strengthen African innovation ecosystems through supporting a culture of innovation and competitiveness, whilst spurring growth of innovative, market-driven African
    solutions to African challenges
  • Over the past six years, the AIF has been playing an active role in supporting the development of African innovation ecosystems through ongoing collaborative programs and strategic partnerships with governments and innovation influencers across the region
  • Previous IPA editions were held in Ghana (2017), Botswana (2016), Morocco (2015), Nigeria (2014), South Africa (2013) and Ethiopia (2012). IPA was endorsed at its inaugural edition in
    Addis Ababa in 2012 where African ministers at the joint Africa Union (AU) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) passed a resolution to support AIF to promote
    innovation-based societies across the continent. Each of IPA host countries have committed to putting innovation ahead of their development agenda and the past host countries have continued to benefit from their affiliation with the AIF post hosting the IPA Awards event.
  • Each year, IPA rewards selected African innovators with US$ 185 000 and mobilizes innovation enablers to unlock African innovators’ potential. IPA promotes home-grown innovative solutions for Africa’s prosperity and has established networks in all regions of Africa.
  • In addition to the lucrative cash prizes, IPA provides additional opportunities for nominees, local innovators and entrepreneurs to meet with potential private equity, venture capital, angel
    investors and other service providers
  • To date, AIF has supported past winners and nominees with over US$ 1 million to move their
    innovations forward. Due to the exposure received via IPA, past winners have gone on to secure
    over US$ 30 million in investments to grow and scale their businesses, and the valuation of their
    company is now at the value of US$ 200 million.

To apply for the IPA, please visit ipa.africaninnovation.org. The deadline for application is 10 January 2018.

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