The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) has announced its top 10 nominees for the 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) – and the list includes four innovative young women who will vie for the $185000 share-prize, at a gala awards ceremony to be held in the Ghanaian capital , Accra on 18 July – at which President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will deliver the keynote address.
South Africa’s Nokwethu Khojane, Omolabake Adenle from Nigeria, Uganda’s Philippa Ngaju Makobore and Peris Bosire from Kenya, join six other finalists from nine African countries, who were shortlisted for their outstanding innovations across healthcare, engineering, energy and communications sectors.
Now in its sixth year, the IPA is the premier innovation initiative in the African continent which offers a grand share-prize of US$185 000 and incentives to spur growth and prosperity in Africa through home-grown solutions. This year’s ceremony theme is, “African Innovation: Investing in Prosperity”.
According to the AIF, this year’s innovators have demonstrated incredible proficiency through innovative solutions addressing challenges in agriculture value chain, health care, energy, communications, service industries as well as surveillance using drone technology. The final names are announced following a rigorous selection process by a renowned panel of judges including corporates, academia, technology and scientific experts representing top African innovation influencers.
“We are pleased to share with you the names of our IPA2017 nominees as we continue on our mission to catalyse the innovation spirit and unlock untapped potential in Africa. For the first time, this year’s nominees include innovators from Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Zimbabwe,” explains Walter Fust, AIF Chairman of the Board adding:
“Moreover, given the instrumental role African women play in transforming Africa, it is thrilling to see more women among the 10 nominees with game changing innovations. By providing platforms to recognize innovation excellence in Africa and mobilizing for African innovators, we continue to live up to our credo of engaging, inspiring and transforming. The inspiring stories of these nominees remind us that innovation and African-led solutions are indeed the answer to Africa’s growth and prosperity.”
This year’s innovators have demonstrated incredible proficiency through innovative solutions addressing challenges in agriculture value chain, health care, energy, communications, service industries as well as surveillance using drone technology.
The best innovation will take home the top grand prize of US$100 000, the second place winner gets US$25 000 while another US$25 000 is awarded as Special Prize for a project with the most social impact. The rest of the other top 7 entries each receive a voucher for each of US$5 000.
The IPA has seen tremendous growth in applications and increasing interest from both innovators and innovation enablers over the years, and so far, it has attracted more than 7500 innovators from 52 African countries. This year, the Pan-African Prize attracted a record number of entries from over 2 530 innovators across 48 African countries.
The African Innovation Foundation – founded by Angolan entrepreneur – Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais – has supported past winners and nominees with approximately $1million to move their innovations forward. Due to exposure generated by IPA, past winners have gone on to secure over $30million in investments to grow and scale their businesses.
“Over the years, IPA has stimulated impactful and market-oriented innovations aiming at changing lives and transforming Africa. In this sixth edition, we want to promote more investment in home-grown innovations as well as intra-African collaboration and trade to allow the scaling up of viable innovations across borders. We’re excited for the opportunity to work with our partners to ensure the innovations of the 10 nominees will be available to African markets and beyond. We invite you to join us and unlock the potential of African innovators, starting by investing in these 10 nominees.” said Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl, IPA Director.
The AIF will host the IPA 2017 awards ceremony and its second Innovation Ecosystems Connector on 17 and 18 July in Accra, Ghana. The event will focus on how innovation enablers and businesses can leverage funding streams, investments and resources that are critical to unlock potential of African innovators. Participants at the IPA Awards will get an opportunity to attend the official opening of IPA 2017, experience the innovation marketplace, join high-level roundtable discussions, Zua Hub meet-ups, and networking activities, ending with a celebration of African ingenuity when the IPA 2017 winners will be announced.
The event will be hosted in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, represented by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), and Ghana 60 Years On Planning Committee.