Innovation Prize for Africa 2014: $150,000 Prize for Innovative Solutions to African Challenges

Deadline: October 31, 2013

The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) is accepting entries for the 2014 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA). The prestigious Prize aims at encouraging innovations that contribute to sustainable development in Africa. The winning submission will be awarded a prize of USD 100’000, with two additional USD 25 000, one for the runner up with an innovation with the best business potential and the other one for the runner up with the innovation with the best social impact.

In an effort to drive African-led development, the IPA invites African entrepreneurs and innovators to propose projects that unlock new African potential under one of five categories which include:

  • agriculture and agribusiness;
  • environment, energy and water;
  • health and wellbeing;
  • ICT applications;
  • manufacturing and services industries.

With more than 1350 applications received to date, the IPA aims to support Africans’ efforts to develop new products, increase efficiency and drive cost-savings on the continent. The IPA also provides a platform for African innovators to showcase their solutions to potential investors and seek partners to scale up their marketable concepts. Only innovations by Africans and for Africans are eligible to enter. Africans in the Diaspora can also apply if their innovations are of significance to Africa.

About IPA

The Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) is an initiative of the African Innovation Foundation (AIF). It mobilizes African innovators and entrepreneurs by providing a total of USD 150,000 to the winners who deliver market-oriented solutions for African-led development. The IPA honours and encourages innovative achievements that contribute toward developing new products, increasing efficiency or saving cost in Africa. The prize also encourages private equity investors, government and development leaders to invest across sectors and build a climate that fuels Africa’s economic growth.


  • Only innovations by Africans and for Africans are eligible to enter.
  • Africans in the Diaspora can also apply if their innovations are of significance to Africa.

The winning innovations are determined based on the products’ uniqueness and their potential contribution to socio-economic development in Africa through increased efficiency and cost savings.

Five criteria to be considered:

  • Marketability: Potential for commercialization and bankability
  • Originality: Innovativeness, demonstrated creativity and originality of idea
  • Scalability: Scale and scope and whether a reasonable strategy for moving ahead has been made
  • Social impact: The socio-economic impacts of the proposed innovation, and how it addresses existing development challenges faced by a community/country or the continent as whole.
  • Utility/technical aspects: The technological or scientific significance of the innovation in the particular field and beyond.


The 2014 IPA will consist of three Prizes, which will be given following the criteria outlined above:

  • First Prize (USD 100,000): This prize will be awarded to the innovator with the overall best innovation that meets all the above mentioned IPA criteria with clear business potential.
  • Runner-up Prize (USD 25,000): This prize will be given to the selected innovator with a commercially driven innovation. Beyond the aforementioned five criteria, this category of Award will be assessed on its marketability potentials and will be awarded to the innovation with the best commercial/business potential.
  • Special Prize for Social Impact Innovation (USD 25,000): This category of award will be assessed on its particular social impact in the community/country and will be awarded to the innovation with the best social impact.
  • Finalists: This is a group of IPA participants who will be invited to the face-to-face interview and to the award ceremony. All finalists will receive certificates, and the IPA secretariat will work with them to mobilize in kind support to facilitate next steps for their innovation.

For detailed information of competition categories, conditions of entry, and submission procedures, please visit and review the detailed call for application prior to applying.

For more information, click here.