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The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) has opened entries for the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2018 Awards. The application window will be open until 10 January 2018.
The top ten selected African innovators will get a share of $185 000, including a grand prize of $100 000 and a second prize of $25 000. A special prize for social impact worth $25 000 will also be awarded. In addition, seven IPA nominees will each get vouchers worth $5000.
Entries are open to all Africans, including those living in the diaspora. The AIF has encouraged female innovators to apply following the record number of entries submitted in last year’s edition.
The Innovation Prize for Africa 2018 Awards will see winners get a share of $185 000
An expert panel will assess submissions against IPA’s themes and across five categories. The categories are manufacturing and service industry, health and well-being, agriculture and agri-business, environment, energy and water, and ICT.
The winners will be announced in July next year (exact dates and location are yet to be confirmed).
AIF has previously supported past winners and nominees with over $1-million. In addition, winners also stand to benefit from exposure received via IPA with past winners going on to secure $30-million in investments to grow and scale their startups.
Additional benefits include access to AIF’s networks via its platform ZuaHub, through which the AIF connects entrepreneurs with resources.
‘Inclusive innovation ecosystems’
The theme of the seventh edition of the Innovation Prize for Africa is “investing in inclusive innovation ecosystems”.
The Innovation Prize for Africa awards, now in their seventh year, aim to acknowledge outstanding African solutions that are commercially viable, innovative and sustainable.
“We are pleased to launch IPA 2018 and are confident that this edition will prove bigger and better in terms of participation and quality of submissions. With each edition, IPA has gone from strength to strength attracting innovators across disciplines and with outstanding solutions to African challenges,” IPA director Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl said in a press release.
“For this seventh edition, we also look forward to expanding our ever-growing network of innovators, enablers and partners in order to join hands and build stronger, more sustainable innovation ecosystems that will propel the continent forward,” she added.
Over 2500 applications, with at least 19% of these from women, were submitted last year.
“IPA is a platform to showcase the inherent ingenuity that exists in Africa,” AIF Board chairman Walter Fust said in the same release.
“Each year, several hundred participants submit their entries with new solutions to overcome African-specific challenges. This year we want to drive greater pan-African synergies across our network of enablers and partners to create inclusive opportunities for local innovators and together disrupt business models, empower people and drive positive social impact across the continent,” said Fust.