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Have an ingenious invention hidden in a lab or your garage? If so, listen up. The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) is currently looking for entries across the continent for the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2015. The fourth edition of this initiative seeks to encourage Africa’s pioneers to present creative technologies and ideas that could solve some of the region’s biggest problems.
In turn, the AIF will provide a sum of US$150 000 to selected innovators in order to support sustainable development. The prize also pushes private equity investors and governments to invest across sectors and build environments contributive to economic growth.
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to one of the world’s youngest populations. AIF and IPA founder Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais stresses the need to empower the new generation of innovators:
“At the African Innovation Foundation we are passionate about Africa and its potential, that we firmly believe will be led by empowering a new generation of African innovators and entrepreneurs. But we also recognise that this new generation needs the resources and the opportunities to realise their ambition.”
Bastos de Morais further notes that IPA provides a platform to encourage and harness these entrepreneurial skills in order to help improve the lives of Africans and to help realise untapped potential.
The IPA encourages entries in five key categories: Agriculture and Agribusiness, Environment, Energy and Water, Health and Wellbeing, ICT applications, and Manufacturing and Services Industries.
IPA 2013 winner, AgriProtein went on to raise US$11-million to build its first two commercial farms in Cape Town. The IPA is becoming integral to facilitating ground-breaking thinking, creativity and driving awareness to the outstanding work being done in Africa by Africans.
The best submission will be awarded a grand prize of US$100 000. The second prize of US US$25 000 will be awarded to an innovator with an innovation which has the best commercial and business potential. An additional award is a special prize granted to the innovator whose innovation has the best social impact in the community.
The deadline for submitting applications for IPA 2015 is 31 October 2014 at 24h00 GMT.