Ten African innovators have developed practical solutions to some of the continent’s most intractable problems.
Chosen from more than 900 applications from 45 countries, the finalists for the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2013 provide practical examples of Africa’s investment potential.
The IPA is an award founded by the African Innovation Foundation and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. It mobilizes African innovators and entrepreneurs by providing a total of US$150, 000 to winners who deliver market-oriented solutions for African-led development.
The winners of the IPA 2013 will be announced at a gala dinner on 7 May in Cape Town, South Africa hosted by the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business and the Sekunjalo Development Foundation.
The winner will receive US$100, 000 for the best innovation based on marketability, originality, scalability, social impact and clear business potential. A runner up will receive US$25, 000 for the best commercial potential and another winner will receive US$25, 000 as a special prize for social innovation.
“As global leaders gather for the World Economic Forum on Africa to discuss approaches to deliver on Africa’s promise, these innovators demonstrate that the best way to build Africa’s capacity is to invest in local innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, a co-founder of the African Innovation Foundation and the IPA.
From Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan and Tunisia, the IPA 2013 finalists are leaders in the areas of agriculture, environment, health, ICT and manufacturing.
"We see a strong trend emerging of innovations that have significant social impact for Africa," said Dr. Francois Bonnici, Director Bertha Centre for Social Innovation at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business.
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.
The call for applications for IPA 2014 will be announced in July 2013.