Friday, October 07, 2011

UN Africa Innovations Prize

Addis Ababa, 08 July 2011 (ECA) - The United Nations  Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Innovation Foundation  (AIF) are delighted to announce the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) to be  awarded for the first time in February 2012. This prestigious and  well-endowed award aims at encouraging innovations that contribute to  sustainable development in Africa.  

With this award, AIF and  UNECA acknowledge, support and encourage innovators and entrepreneurs- the  group of stakeholders who till now have been neither considered nor benefited  under Africa’s development cooperation agenda.

"Innovation is a  combination of identifying problems, and finding groundbreaking implementable  solutions; we hope the prizes will contribute to tapping into the ingenuity of  Africans to solve Africa’s problems,” says the ECA Executive Secretary and  Under-Secretary General, Mr. Abdoulie Janneh.   

He adds:  “Currently, ideas, innovation and knowledge are what is driving the world, and  transforming economies.  It is therefore fitting and appropriate that the  Innovation Prize for Africa is targeting a unique group of stakeholders -  innovators and inventors in the area of ICTs, Green Technologies and Health  & Food Security.”  

“The AIF is very proud of the cooperation  with ECA and expects numerous innovation projects to compete for the prize.  There is so much untapped talent on this continent,” adds Mr. Walter Fust,  Chairman of the AIF.  

The amount allocated towards the winners  for the selected innovators and entrepreneurs, in the three thematic areas of  ICTs; Green Technologies; Health & Food Security are two generous prizes:  First prize USD 100,000; and USD 50000 for the second prize.

The  registration deadline for the 2012 prize has been set for September 30th, 2011  with no possibility of extensions.  

The organizers expect the  prize to promote among young African men and women the pursuit of science,  technology and engineering careers and business applications. The aims are to:   
1.        Create a platform for identification  of innovative concepts and projects submitted by applicants that could be  supported by AIP;  
2.        Promote innovation  across Africa in key sectors of interest through the competition;   
3.        Promote science, technology and engineering  as rewarding, exciting and noble career options among the youth in Africa by  profiling successful applicants; and  
4.         Encourage entrepreneurs, innovators, funding bodies and business  development service providers to exchange ideas and explore innovative  business opportunities.  

In pursuing those aims, the AIP expects  the following outcomes:
1.        Increased  commercialization of research and development (R&D) outputs in Africa;
2.        Increased development of start-up, adoption  of new and emerging technologies and accelerate growth of an innovative and  dynamic private sector; and  
3.        Increased  general economic activities that result in long term sustainable development   

Over the coming five years, AIP will be targeting  innovators/entrepreneurs in different thematic areas to be determined each  year by the Technical Advisory Committee.  

For detailed  information of competition categories, conditions of entry, and submission  procedures, please visit: <>   

Issued  by:  

ECA Information and Communication Service
P.O.  Box 3001
Addis Ababa

Tel:  251 11 5445098
Fax: +251-11-551 03 65  
E-mail:  <>
Web:  <>    


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