Are you an African ground breaker? Can you innovate for positive change? Do you want to be part of the growing innovation movement in Africa? Does your innovation boast the “Made in Africa” brand? If your answer is yes to the above, then you’re invited to participate in the Innovation Prize for Africa (//innovationprizeforafrica.org/about-ipa/?) (IPA) 2016 competition. The IPA is an initiative of the African Innovation Foundation (//www.africaninnovation.org/) (AIF) that was established in 2011. It 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.
After successful IPA editions in Addis Ababa (2012), Cape Town (2013), Abuja (2014), and more recently in Skhirat, Morocco (2015) AIF today announced the launch of its 5th edition of the IPA competition: “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.
The IPA 2016 edition, dubbed “Made in Africa” is in harmony with the AIF mission that seeks to catalyse the innovation spirit in Africa, living up to its credo: by Africans, for Africa. 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 //www.facebook.com/InnovationPrizeforAfrica?ref=hl 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).
But beyond the prestigious cash prize, IPA 2016 is set to break further ground, opening up new opportunities for innovation enthusiasts across Africa. 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.
Says Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, AIF Founding Board Member: “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”.
You too can join the movement to change the face of Africa by helping us to build a strong African innovation ecosystems! All you need to do is submit to IPA your “Made in Africa” innovation no later than 31 October 2015. Check out our application guidelines, criteria for selection, the selection process and time-frame, and information on submission of entries on the IPA website, at www.innovation.prizeforafrica.org now, and you’re well on your way to being identified, rewarded and recognised as a top African innovator.
IPA 2016 promises to be bigger and better with the first ever Innovation Forum and a design “Do-Tank” workshop to be hosted by AIF, boasting the latest and smartest innovation fusions with opportunities for enhancing innovation design by Africans, for Africa. An extra special line up will showcase IPA achievements, and honour past and current nominees and winners. In addition, this will be a unique opportunity to interact with leading African innovation champions and thought leaders, topped by first class entertainment. This all, supported by the launch of a dynamic online platform for investors, innovators and innovation enablers driving the innovation frontier in Africa!
See you at IPA 2016 in June next year, and keep watching our social media channels for more details as they emerge, including information on our next host country, date and venue. Stay tuned with the IPA action by reading our happening blog at //innovationprizeforafrica.org/blog/.