A. The purpose of the AIF is to increase the prosperity of Africans by catalyzing the innovation spirit in Africa. We want to see needs-based change happen. Our work encompasses innovative programs in the areas of innovation and technology, law and governance, and social impact development. We establish platforms for institutions, investors and innovators to collaborate and share knowledge, helping unlock the potential of African innovators and entrepreneurs.
Find more details on AIF Programs and associated activities here
A: The Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) is an award founded by the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) in 2011. It mobilizes African innovators and entrepreneurs by providing USD 150 000 to winners who deliver market-oriented solutions for African-led development. The prize seeks to catalyze the spirit of innovation in Africa and challenge Africans to develop creative solutions to overcome some of Africa’s greatest challenges. The prize also promotes the efforts of young African men and women pursuing science, technology and engineering careers as well as business opportunities that aim to contribute to sustainable development in Africa. The IPA is calling for a multi-sector approach to build an innovation ecosystem that can speed up African economic growth.
A: 3 winners will be selected for IPA 2016 and with additional support to other participants:
A: Applications are evaluated based on five criteria:
A: AIF and all its employees binds itself to protect the confidentiality of any information disclosed by applicants in the course of the competition. No information submitted by an applicant will be shared to third parties without the consent of the applicant save for information that is shared with third parties involved in the selection process. We always ensure the strict protection of Intellectual Property rights, and everyone involved in the IPA selection process is required to sign a strict Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).
A: Applicants are required to submit their applications on line by visiting the IPA website https://ipa.africaninnovation.org. On the top right hand corner you will see a blue button (Apply Now) with a link to the application form. Click on this link and it will lead you to an online application form.
A: The IPA 2017 priority areas are:
A: IPA applicants are powerful evidence of the innovation potential that exists across the African continent. We need to take advantage of Africa’s greatest resource – its human capital – if we want to achieve sustainable development. The IPA is focused on promoting development through African led-solutions. We believe Africans need to drive the agenda on what the continent needs. The public and private sector must jointly come to the realization that innovation and entrepreneurship are the solutions to reducing aid dependency and invest together to promote innovation as a driver of African development.
A: Our goal is to contribute to increased funding of start-ups, adoption of new and emerging technologies and accelerated growth of an innovative private sector. We would like to see a strong African innovation ecosystem which will lead to an African-led development that results in lasting impact and create opportunities for the African youth to innovate practical solutions and become entrepreneurs.
A: We need public and private investment in African development to make the most of the continent’s potential. We have to invest in local ingenuity. We need private equity investors, corporations, governments and NGOs to funnel funding to the good ideas that have the potential to move the continent forward.
A: We live in a rapidly changing innovation environment and African innovators are developing new ways to solve Africa’s development challenges every day. These solutions – that often leapfrog technology in the global north – provide better access, improved productivity and the potential for innovation to change lives. The trends in African innovation are broad and often reflect the challenges faced by Africans every day. There are a number of innovation hubs being developed across the continent and they provide a space and platform for tech innovators to collaborate. We are excited by innovations that deploy the power of mobile and deal with energy and environmental challenges across the continent.
A: The solution to aid dependency is ultimately to create an environment that fosters and supports Africa’s economic self-determination. Innovation and entrepreneurship play a large role in Africa reaching this goal. That is why the IPA invests in home grown innovation and Africa’s greatest resources – its human capital, especially, its youth. As the IPA focuses on African-led development, we believe that the public and private sectors and NGO’s must layer investment to create greater impact on the continent. We know that a multi-sector approach is necessary to build an innovation ecosystem that can speed up African economic growth.
A: The main challenge for African innovators is access to seed funds and lack of exposure to attract other needed supports. Africans innovate solutions to their problems daily, but they lack the needed funds to further develop their innovations and take them to scale. The lack of exposure and knowledge sharing leads to duplication of efforts. Another challenge for African Innovators is linked to the lack of commercializing research and development outcomes because they all too often sit on shelves. Lastly, one cannot ignore the role of the informal sector in Africa, and more attention and funds are needed to support efforts linked to informal innovation.
A: The IPA is focused on driving African-led innovation to promote African-led development. The IPA calls on the public and the private sector to invest in game-changing ideas, inventions and business models across sectors that improve the lives of Africans. Together, we can build a strong African innovation ecosystem which will lead to the development of more home-grown solutions. The best way to build Africa’s capacity is to invest in local innovation and entrepreneurship. Once Africans and the rest of the world recognize innovative breakthroughs that unlock new African potential, we will be able to ensure a more promising future for all Africans.