By Godfrey Olukya 10-4-2014
The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) has today announced the ten finalists of the prestigious Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2014.
Ten African innovators have created practical solutions to some of the continent’s most intractable problems, from a domestic waste biogas system to a wafer matrix for paediatric antiretroviral (ARV) drug treatment. Chosen from almost 700 applications from 42 countries, the finalists for the IPA 2014 represent Africans’ potential to address the challenges that are unique to the continent.
The winners of the IPA 2014 will be announced at an awards ceremony on 5 May in Abuja, Nigeria, where keynote speaker, the Honourable Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Minister of finance, will highlight the importance of innovation to unlock Africa’s potential for sustainable development and economic growth.
The winner will receive USD 100 000 for the best innovation based on marketability, originality, scalability, social impact and clear business potential. A runner up will receive USD 25 000 for the best commercial potential and another winner will receive USD 25 000 as a special prize for innovation with the highest social impact. Prior to the awards ceremony, a roundtable featuring innovation experts will take place, to address the theme “A Path to Building Industrial Nation Skillsets in Africa”.
“As global leaders gather for the 2014 World Economic Forum on Africa to discuss approaches to inclusive growth and job creation, the IPA 2014 innovators demonstrate that the best way to achieve equitable economic growth for all Africans is to invest in local innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, founder of the African Innovation Foundation and the IPA.
Among the ten are Ashley Uys from South Africa, Daniel Gitau from kenya, Elise Cloete from Soutj africa , Joshua Okello from Kenya, Logou Minsob from Togo, Maman Kane from Niger, Melesse Temesgen and Sulaiman Famro from Nigeria.
The AIF believes that the best solutions to the challenges Africans face on a daily basis can and will come from Africans themselves and innovation is the key. The IPA selection committee represents private equity investors, seed funders, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, innovation catalysts and development leaders who are looking for ideas that move Africa forward. The call for applications for IPA 2015 will be announced in July.
The Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) is an award founded by the African Innovation Foundation . It mobilizes African innovators and entrepreneurs by providing a total of USD 150 000 to 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 cost savings 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.