The African Innovative Foundation (AIF) has rolled out its 2016 competition programme, calling on African innovators and entrepreneurs to register and slug it out for the US150, 000 on offer,to develop market-oriented solutions that support African-led development.
According to a release, each nominee for the competition dubbed the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), will get a US$5,000 voucher, to further develop their innovations.
The AIF was established in 2011, with the IPA editions organized in different cities across Africa.
Addis Ababa in Ethiopia hosted the 2012 edition; Cape Town, South Africa (2013); Abuja, Nigeria (2014), while the fourth edition was hosted by Shikrat, Morocco in 2015.
The IPA was launched in 2011, in conjunction with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and the IPA Director
said they were mobilizing to ensure that African innovations make it to the marketplace.
“It is all about Made in Africa now” Ms Mujawamariya was quoted as saying.
Now in its fifth year, IPA is the most celebrated innovation event on the African calendar, bringing together the best of African ingenuity in the rigours of science and technology, environment and energy, agri-business, health and well-being, the manufacturing and service industry, as well as the ICT sector.
Now in its fifth year running and a cash investment sum of $820 000, the IPA program has engaged, inspired and transformed more than 3000 movers and shakers across the continent, supporting more than 35 star innovators in 49 countries. The IPA achievements are illustrated by the fact that its social media community has grown rapidly in the last quarter by 100%, with over 14 000 followers, a total reach of 1.1 million people and a total engaged user rate of 32 000.
The target for IPA 2016 is to attract applications from all 54 countries in Africa and the highest participation of women and young people. Once again, the grand share prize of US$150 000 will be split between the most impressive winners that can convince the AIF team of expert judges why their innovation must win. AIF is looking for unique, cutting-edge innovations (US$100 000) that reflect positive social impact (US$25 000) and have the potential to be transformed into a sustainable, commercial success (US$25 000).
Thanks to increasing interest and buy-in from the African innovation pool, AIF will introduce further post-prize opportunities for 10 young Africans and 10 women whose innovations are addressing pressing challenges in Africa. Other incentives include training and pitching opportunities, association with the AIF brand, and local, regional and international media coverage, as well as networking opportunities with potential investors.
Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, AIF Founding Board Member said: “I am very excited about the Made in Africa theme for the 5th edition of IPA. It is a powerful message that captures the spirit, ingenuity and sophistication of African innovation today. Africans are beginning to see the value and merit in investing in home-grown innovation, and we are fiercely proud of African-made products and solutions. For the IPA 2016, the AIF is calling for innovators across the continent to bring forward innovations that will feed the demand and supply needs of African markets, stimulate local enterprise, and put African innovation on the world map”.