African Innovation Foundation (AIF) 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa (USD$150,000 Prize)

Application Deadline: January 3rd 2017

The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) is delighted to announce the call for its 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) applications. The IPA honours and encourages innovative achievements that contribute toward developing new products, increasing efficiency or saving cost in Africa. The prize also promotes among young African men and women the pursuit of science, technology and engineering careers as well as business opportunities with potential of contributing to sustainable development in Africa.

The IPA is focused on:

  • Mobilize African innovators and entrepreneurs who deliver innovative market-oriented solutions to African challenges and support them through the IPA awards and post-prize activities;
  • Strengthen African innovation ecosystems by mobilizing innovation enablers from all sectors to join hands and create a conducive environment to fuel innovation across Africa.

The IPA 2017 recognizes innovative breakthroughs that unlock new African potential in the
following five priority areas: agriculture and agribusiness; environment, energy and water;
health and well-being; ICTs; manufacturing and service industry.


Are you an African entrepreneur, academic or inventor with an innovation that could
potentially provide an African solution to some of the continent’s every day challenges? If
your answer is “yes”, then you should apply for IPA 2017.
Below are specific guidelines on who can apply and how to apply:

  • Eligible innovations MUST be by Africans for Africa. Africans in the Diaspora can
    also apply if their innovations are of significance for Africa. People who do not hold
    citizenship of an African country are not eligible to apply. An exception will be made
    for Africans who hold the citizenship of a non-African country;
  • A fully completed application form with a full description of the innovation must
    accompany each submission; if not, the entry will be disqualified;
  • The innovation description should clearly illustrate the social and/or economic
    outcome and impact with regard to African development and the priority area
    chosen; it should also be in line with the IPA assessment and selection criteria.
  • Application forms and description of the innovation should be in English, French or
    Portuguese. While the innovations can be conducted in any language including local
    languages, the submissions should be translated and submitted in English, French or
  • Applicants are required to attach a letter of support/endorsement from an institution
    or an authority with knowledge of their innovation. This will serve as a testimony of
    how important the innovation is in addressing development challenges faced by
  • Each mandatory question on the application form MUST be answered; if not, the
    application will be deemed incomplete and disqualified.
  • There is no application fee and age limit, but the applicant must be in a position to
    defend their submission at any stage of the process.


The IPA 2017 will consist of three Awards and support to all nominees which will be given
following the criteria outlined above:

  • First Prize (US$100 000): The overall winner whose innovation demonstrates the
    best innovation with clear business potential
  • Second Prize (US$25 000): The innovator who best demonstrates a
    commercially-driven business innovation. Beyond the aforementioned five criteria,
    this Award will be carefully assessed on its marketability and commercial potential.
  • Special Prize for Social Impact (US$25 000): The innovation that demonstrates
    the greatest social impact.
  • Nominees: The top-10 nominees shall be invited for face-to-face interviews to
    assess in depth their innovations as potential winners for the IPA competition. All
    nominees are invited to participate in the awards ceremony and receive certificates.
    In addition, the AIF will also provide a US$5 000 voucher to each nominee that must
    be applied strictly for purposes of furthering their innovation.
  • Nominees also benefit from the AIF-IPA brand, receive ongoing local, regional and
    international media coverage, and support and training opportunities can be
    mobilized for the nominees.


  • Pre-screening (October 2016 – January 2017)
  • Screening (November 2016 – January 2017)
  • Preliminary Assessment by Judges (February – March 2017)
  • Selection Panel Reconciliation Sessions (March 2017)
  • Technical Validation (March – April 2017)
  • Phone Interviews (May 2017)
  • Face-to-Face interviews (July 2017; exact dates and place TBA)
  • Awards Ceremony (July 2017; exact date and place TBA):

Application Procedure:

  • All applications must ONLY be submitted through our online portal for the competition at:
  • Applications must be submitted in English, French or Portuguese. You can select your
    preferred language when you land at the link above.
  • For any questions regarding the IPA application process, please check first the website and if you still have questions then contact the IPA Secretariat : [email protected]

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa


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