The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) today announced the top 10 nominees who will be contending for the 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), to be awarded in Accra, Ghana on 18th July 2017.
Innovators from nine African countries including Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Liberia, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe have been shortlisted for the prestigious Prize.
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.
This year’s cream of the crop underwent 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. 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.” said Walter Fust, AIF Chairman of the Board.
Now celebrating its sixth year under the theme “African Innovation: Investing in Prosperity”, IPA is the premier innovation initiative in the African continent, offering a grand share-prize of US$185 000 and incentives to spur growth and prosperity in Africa through home-grown solutions.
IPA has seen tremendous growth in applications and increasing interest from both innovators and innovation enablers over the years. To date, IPA has attracted more than 7 500 innovators from 52 African countries, making it a truly Pan African initiative. IPA 2017 edition witnessed a record number of entries from over 2 530 innovators across 48 African countries. The Foundation has supported past winners and nominees with approximately US$ 1 million to move their innovations forward. Due to exposure generated by IPA, past winners have gone on to secure over US$30 million 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.
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. See key activities listed here.
This premier innovation 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. The IPA has received the highest endorsement from H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of Ghana, who will deliver the keynote address during the Awards ceremony.