African innovators sought for 2016 awards

2 Aug

African ground breaker who can innovate for positive change and be part of the growing innovation movement in Africa to boost the “Made in Africa” brand are invited to participate in the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2016 competition.

Established in 2011, the IPA aims to mobilize African innovators and entrepreneurs by providing US$ 150 000 for market-oriented solutions that support African-led development. Through the IPA, the AIF acknowledges and encourages the endeavours of African innovators and entrepreneurs, and works to raise their profiles on the development agenda. Each nominee also receives a voucher of US$ 5000 to further develop their innovations.

“It’s all about Made in Africa now, ” says Pauline Mujawamariya, IPA Director, who has been at the helm of the IPA program since its inaugural launch in 2011, launched in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and endorsed by Ministers attending the Africa Union (AU)/ECA conference. “Our dream is to see this competition grow, and with it, strengthen Africa’s innovation ecosystem. IPA 2016 marks bold new steps towards mobilizing all innovation enablers to join hands and ensure that African innovations make it to the markets,” she said.

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.

IPA 2016 will attract applications from all 54 countries in Africa and the highest participation of women and young people. 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).

All nominees will receive additional post-prize support to the value of US$5 000 to take their innovations to a higher level. 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.

Submissions to IPA 2016 “Made in Africa” innovation must be made no later than 31 October 2015.

www.innovationprizeforafrica.org/

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