Innovation Prize for Africa: Call for Proposals

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) have just  announced the call for the 2013 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA).

Eligible are innovations by Africans for Africa. Africans in the Diaspora can also apply if their innovations are of significance to Africa. The winning proposal will be awarded a cash prize of USD100,000, with the two runner-ups receiving USD25,000.

The registration deadline for the 2013 prize has been set for 31 October 2012.

For detailed information of competition categories, conditions of entry, and submission procedures, please visit:

PA 2013 Priority Areas

1. Manufacturing and Service Industry
This priority calls for applications that have demonstrated a lead on addressing the key pillars of innovation in production technology/industry: creating high added-value, greener, more customer-focused and/or high quality products; manufacturing more with less input materials, using lowest energy and creating fewest or zero waste. Innovations that promote the adoption of cleaner, sustainable practices, changing from a resource-intensive to a knowledge-based approach, best ever turnaround times, smooth relationship with suppliers and customers, and which demonstrate greater potential for wider product range would be highly regarded.

2. Agriculture/agribusiness
This priority recognizes innovations that have demonstrated a lead in the agricultural sector, particularly, value-added at specific points of the agricultural value-chain: production, distribution, marketing, branding, certification etc. This might include development and/or adoption of yield increasing technologies, promotion of high-value products (food staple crops, high-value crops, livestock, plant variety, fertilizers, breeds, pesticides); marketing practices (pre-production contracts, collective marketing), natural resource management techniques (conservation tillage, soil erosion controls, water harvesting), trial and introduction of new products or process production systems for non tradable and/or tradable food staples; diversification of the production systems etc. This might be applied to commercial and market oriented farmers as well as small-scale and, subsistence farmers etc.

3. Information Communications Technologies (ICTs)
This priority recognizes innovative ICTs applications that have demonstrated their potential in addressing key development challenges in African societies (e.g. in communities) or economy, including:

– Software (application development, software design and development, enterprise application development, or platform development) and may include new development, or any other activities that result in software products for addressing a key development challenge.

Mobile/Wireless Technologies that demonstrate how underprivileged people can use devices for social and economic benefits with the possibility to spawn micro-enterprises and generate employment.

Local Language Software known as “localisation” requires definition and implementation of standards. These standards include character set encoding, keyboard (and keypad) layouts, collation/sorting sequence, locale and ICT terminology. In addition to definition of standards, applications also need to be developed for local language computing to support access and generation of local language content.

4. Health and Wellbeing
This priority recognizes innovations that have demonstrated high impact or potential in improving the physical, mental, and social well-being of individuals or communities, through prevention, treatment etc. This might include the development and use of traditional and modern medicines, improved sanitation, hygiene, treating or preventing TB, Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Diabetes, Hepatitis, High blood-pressure, Diarrhea, Cholera, infirmity, depression or other physical and mental illnesses.

5. Environment, Energy and Water

This priority recognizes innovative applications that have demonstrated a lead in developing or applying cost-effective, smart renewable energy generation processes, cleaner water supply systems etc. Devices, particles, methods, filter systems that can bind, crack down, remove or mitigate pollutants and/or improve environmental pollution control would be highly appreciated. Other expected outcomes include: water desalination, gas emission control, reduced dependence on fossil fuels, eco-efficient processes that abate the impact of industrial processes and products, optimization of the use of resources while minimizing waste.

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About Mawuna KOUTONIN

Mawuna Koutonin is a world peace activist who relentlessly works to empower people to express their full potential and pursue their dreams, regardless of their background. He is the Editior of, Founder of, and Social activist for Africa Renaissance. Koutonin’s ultimate dream is to open a world-class human potential development school in Africa in 2017. If you are interested in learning more about this venture or Koutonin’s other projects, you can reach him directly by emailing at

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