Africa’s innovators to win US $ 150,000 in the 2014 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA)


ipaThe African Innovation Foundation (AIF) announced the call for entries for the 2014 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA). The Prize, presented annually since 2012, aims at encouraging innovations that contribute to sustainable development in Africa. The winning submission will be awarded a prize of US $ 100,000, with two additional US $ 25,000 each for the runner up with an innovation with the best business potential and the other one for the runner up with the innovation with the best social impact.

In an effort to drive African-led development, the IPA invites African entrepreneurs and innovators to propose projects that unlock new African potential under one of five categories which include: 1) Agriculture and agribusiness; 2) Environment, energy and water; 3) Health and well-being; 4) ICT applications; and 5) Manufacturing and services industries.

“The IPA team believes that the best way to build Africa’s capacity is to invest in local innovation and entrepreneurship.  This prize encourages Africans to develop creative ways to overcome everyday challenges,” said AIF founder Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais.

2013 IPA finalists pose at the gala in South Africa.
2013 IPA finalists pose at the gala in South Africa.

The IPA 2013 was awarded to South Africa’s AgriProtein for its innovative approach to nutrient recycling – a method that uses waste and fly larvae to produce natural animal feed.  The 2013 prize also recognized two additional winners for their contributions to African innovation.  In the business potential category, Hassine Labaied and Anis Aouini from Saphon Energy (Tunisia) received US $ 25,000 for creating a bladeless wind convertor.   In the social impact category, Sanoussi Diakite (Senegal) received US $ 25,000 for developing and distributing a thermal powered machine that husks 5 kilograms of fonio – an important and healthy West African cereal – in just 8 minutes.  This innovation increases accessibility to a nutritious African staple food source and addresses challenges associated with its consumption.

With more than 1,350 applications received to date, the IPA aims to support Africans’ efforts to develop new products, increase efficiency and drive cost-savings on the continent. The IPA also provides a platform for African innovators to showcase their solutions to potential investors and seek partners to scale up their marketable concepts. Only innovations by Africans and for Africans are eligible to enter. Africans in the Diaspora can also apply if their innovations are of significance to Africa.

The registration deadline for the 2014 prize has been set for 31 October 2013. For detailed information of competition categories, conditions of entry, and submission procedures, please visit the IPA portal and review the detailed call for application prior to applying.