An exclusive competition, by and for Africans

Who will follow in the footsteps of Mohamed Sanad and AgriProtein?

Both have won the Innovation Prize for Africa, an initiative by the African Innovation Foundation, a Swiss nonprofit, recognizing innovations contributing to Africa’s sustainable development.

“The IPA team believes that the best way to build Africa’s capacity is to invest in local innovation and entrepreneurship,” says AIF founder Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais. “This prize encourages Africans to develop creative ways to overcome everyday challenges.”

Sanad, an engineering professor at Cairo University in Egypt, was named inaugural winner in 2012 for developing an in-phone and mobile antennae that works on all frequency bands. Earlier this year, it was AgriProtein’s team of researchers and entrepreneurs for its innovative nutrient recycling method, which uses waste and fly larvae to manufacture natural animal feed. (Click the above video to learn more about this technology.)

And now, the African Innovation Foundation is looking for the next technological breakthroughs in the areas of manufacturing and service industry, health and well-being, agriculture and agribusiness, environment, energy and water, and information and communication technologies.

The eligibility criteria: In the words of the organizer, “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.”

Applications may be submitted online or by mail, in either English or French. The deadline is midnight GMT of Oct. 31, 2013.

A cash prize of $100,000 awaits the 2014 IPA grand winner, or the one deemed as the best innovation in terms of marketability, originality, scalability, social impact, utility or technical aspect, and clear business potential. AIF will also hand out $25,000 each to two runners-up, one with the best commercial potential and another with the highest social impact in the community or country.

The competition for IPA has so far been steep. The last two rounds drew more than 1,300 applications from 48 countries.

Read our previous #innov8aid.

About the author

  • Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.