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African Innovation Foundation announces that Rwanda will host this year’s IPA

The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda announced today that Rwanda will host the 7th annual Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA).

Aimed at recognising and connecting African innovators and entrepreneurs with key innovation ecosystems enablers, this year’s edition of the IPA will take place on 11 and 12 October at Kigali Convention Center in Rwanda.

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Besides a host of exciting side events and brand new initiatives for Africa by Africans, IPA 2018 will offer a number prizes and incentives to winners and nominees, including a grand prize of $100 000. The AIF in January closed its application window for this year’s competition.

Read more: AIF opens entries for Innovation Prize for Africa 2018 Awards
Read more: ‘Entrepreneur prize not bankrolled by Angolan sovereign wealth fund’

The event will feature a series of strategic roundtables and workshops aimed at identifying solutions and key actions to drive investments in inclusive innovation ecosystems across Africa.

It will also feature an innovation market place where IPA winners and nominees together with Rwandan and other selected African innovators will showcase their innovations to a pan African and international audiences.

The African Innovation Foundation said Rwanda’s bid was underscored by the government’s commitment towards building a knowledge-based economy

The decision to host IPA in Rwanda received endorsement from the Government of Rwanda, and the host country selection was based on the bid Rwanda submitted which underscored the government’s commitment towards building a knowledge-based economy by promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.

Commenting on the event the Minister of Information Technology and Communications Jean de Dieu Rurangirwa said it is an honour for the country to host IPA2018 and emphasised on the effort made by the government to adopt innovative solutions for the country’s problems.

Over the past six years, AIF has partnered with innovation enablers and governments in Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa to host the Innovation Prize for Africa event. Last year the event was held in Accra, Ghana.

Read more: Egyptian wins $100 000 Innovation Prize for Africa with smart magnetic bearings

The AIF has a network of over 9,400 African innovators across 55 countries and over 400 innovation enablers. IPA impact is illustrated by the fact that it has generated over $30-million in investments for African innovators and past winners/nominees have achieved commendable milestones benefiting not only themselves but also their communities.

IPA 2018 will bring together key government officials, public and private sector stakeholders as well as innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, academics, researchers, policy makers, think tanks and science, technology and innovation experts.

This year’s theme ‘Investing in Inclusive Innovation Ecosystems’ calls for African governments and innovation stakeholders to invest in building bridges for more inclusive ecosystems that will accelerate and scale African innovation at all levels of society.

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