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So you reckon you’re an innovator and that you’ve got a great idea for solving an African challenge? Well if that’s really the case, there are people willing to pay you to execute that idea.
Take the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) for instance. The prize, which has been, 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, one 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.
People looking to get their hands on one of the prizes can propose projects that unlock new African potential under one of five categories which include agriculture and agribusiness; the environment, energy and water; health and wellbeing; ICT applications; and 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,” says AIF founder Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais.
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 converter. In the social impact category, Sanoussi Diakite (Senegal) received US$25 000 for developing and distributing a thermal powered machine that husks five kilograms of fonio — an important and healthy West African cereal — in eight minutes. This innovation, say the organisers, increases accessibility to a nutritious African staple food source and addresses challenges associated with its consumption.
The registration deadline for the 2014 prize has been set for 31 October 2013, with more details available on the site.