Apply for the Innovation Prize for Africa 2017 (Up to $150,000 USD Prizes)

Apply for the Innovation Prize for Africa 2017 (Up to $150,000 USD Prizes)

Deadline: January 3, 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 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.


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.


  • 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 Portuguese;
  • 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 Africans;
  • 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.

Selection Criteria

  • Originality: The uniqueness of the product and its superiority in comparison with similar or alternative products in the market;
  • Marketability: The extent to which the innovation sufficiently addresses the problem it seeks to solve at a cost or model that is accessible to the target market;
  • Scalability: The extent to which the solution can be easily applied to other similar markets beyond the applicant’s immediate or local environment;
  • Social impact: The ability of the innovation to create or effect positive or desirable change within the target community and beyond;
  • Scientific/technical aspects: For tangible technical/scientific products; the extent to which the technical/scientific specifications of the innovation are grounded on established science and sufficiently address anticipated product risks.

Application Process

Apply here.

  • 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, contact the IPA Secretariat: [email protected]

Important Dates

  • Pre-screening: Oct 3, 2016 – Jan 6, 2017
  • Screening: Nov 1, 2016 – Jan 31, 2017
  • Judges review : Feb 6, 2017 – March 6, 2017
  • Shortlisting: March 13 – 24, 2017
  • Validation: March 27 – April 28 2017
  • Phone interviews: May 8 – 25, 2017
  • Face to face interviews & Awards ceremony: July 2017 (Exact date TBC)

For more information, visit IPA 2017.