Innovation Prize for Africa 2013 to recognize innovations that unlock African potential

Prize will award $150,000 USD to winners who deliver market-oriented solutions for African-led development

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, July 4, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ ? The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) ( announced the call for the 2013 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) ( today. The prize aims to support Africans? efforts to develop new products, increase efficiency and drive cost-savings.


At an event organized by the ECA and AIF, researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators will be invited to propose projects that unlock new African potential under one of five categories which include: 1) agriculture and agribusiness; 2) ICT applications; 3) health and wellbeing; 4) environment, energy and water; and 5) manufacturing and services industries.

?The IPA team believes that best way to build Africa?s capacity is to invest in local innovation and entrepreneurship,? said AIF Chairman Walter Fust. ?This prize encourages Africans to develop creative ways to overcome everyday challenges.?

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 winning proposal will be awarded a cash prize of $100,000 USD, with the two runners-up receiving $25,000 USD.

The organizers expect the prize to promote among young African men and women the pursuit of science, technology and engineering careers and business applications.

The aims are to:

– Mobilize leaders from all sectors to fuel African innovation;

– Promote innovation across Africa in key sectors of interest through the competition;

– Promote science, technology and engineering as rewarding, exciting and noble career options among the youth in Africa by profiling success applicants; and

– Encourage entrepreneurs, innovators, funding bodies and business development service

providers to exchange ideas and explore innovative business opportunities.

In pursuing those aims, the IPA expects the following outcomes:

– Increased commercialization of research and development (R&D) outputs in Africa;

– Increased funding of start-ups, adoption of new and emerging technologies and accelerated

growth of an innovative and dynamic private sector; and

– Increased economic activity and African led development that results in lasting impact.

The registration deadline for the 2013 prize has been set for 31 October 2012 with no possibility for extensions.

Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of the African Innovation Foundation (AIF).

For detailed information of competition categories, conditions of entry, and submission procedures, please visit: For highlights and more information, follow us on Twitter (!/IPAprize) and Facebook (


AIF Pauline Mujawamariya

Phone + 41 44 515 5466

Email [email protected]

ECA Eskedar Nega

Phone + 251 11 544 5315

Email [email protected]


UNECA ( is implementing the Information and Communication Technology and Science and Technology for Development (ISTD) program to meet its mandate to advance economic and social development in Africa. ISTD manages the African Technology Development and Transfer Network (TDTNet), the African Science, Technology and Innovation Endowment Fund (ASTIEF), the African Science to Business Challenge (ASBC) and the Technology in Government Award (TIGA) and is experienced in addressing Africa?s special needs, emerging global challenges and hosting and managing initiatives in Africa. For more information please visit:

About AIF

AIF ( supports innovations and other novel initiatives with potential of contributing to sustainable development of African countries. This includes supporting home-grown innovations, facilitating technology transfer as well as supporting other platforms that enhance the exchange of ideas and collaboration among researchers, inventors, entrepreneurs, investors and policy makers. AIF also promotes transparent processes and procedures within the public sector and combat illegitimate appropriation and dissipation of resources within both the private and public domains. AIF?s areas of activity encompass programs & projects in the fields of: Innovation & Access to Technologies, Governance, Education & Culture and Health. For more information, please visit:


African Innovation Foundation (AIF)

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