The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) announce the call for the 2013 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA).  The $150,000 USD prize aims to support Africans’ efforts to develop new products, increase efficiency and drive cost-savings and award winners who deliver market-oriented solutions for African-led development.

Africa’s researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators  have been invited to propose projects that unlock new African potential.

The innovation competition is being run by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) and entrants will be able to compete in any one of the following five categories :

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 fund is aimed at mobilising leaders from all sectors to fuel African innovation. The competition is also aimed at encouraging science, technology and engineering as rewarding, exciting and noble career options among the youth in Africa by profiling success applicants, and empowering entrepreneurs, innovators, funding bodies and business development service providers to exchange ideas and explore innovative business opportunities.

In pursuing those aims, the organisers of the IPA state that it expects the following outcomes:

  • Increased commercialisation 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.

For detailed information of competition categories, conditions of entry, and submission procedures, please visit:

For highlights and more information, follow the competition on Twitter (!/IPAprize) and Facebook (

11 Responses

  1. Byamukama Vincent

    Innovation prize for Africa is a very good idea because it promotes self reliance and professional confidence among Africans. Many Africans have since believed themselves as inferior especially in the field of science and technology, which has been paining me as a young engineer who believes that; every man regardless of his origin can achieve whatever his/her mind can imagine provided there is enough determination. But now with IPA, my hope is alive.

  2. Thuthukile Mace Dlamini

    Many africans are talented in all aspects of their lives, and I really think Innovation prize for Africa shall give us the way to prove ourselves to the world how creative we also are in every aspect of this life.


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