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Innovation Prize for Africa opens 2017 round of applications


Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl

Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl

The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) driver of The Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) has announced the launch of the sixth edition of the IPA awards by calling for applications to the prestigious competition. 
The competition once again offers Africa’s top crop of innovators a share in a grand prize of $150 000 and additional scalable entrepreneurial opportunities. Enterprises and individuals that have invested in delivering market-oriented solutions for African-led development are especially invited to take part in the competition. 
The call for entries runs for three months starting September 27 with a submission deadline of January 3, 2017. The IPA is looking for applications in social and economic innovation including manufacturing and service industry, health and well-being, agriculture and agri-business, environment, energy and water, and ICT showcasing ground-breaking innovations. IPA welcomes Innovations beyond the scope of these sectors.
The IPA Director, Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl, commented: “We are extremely pleased to officially launch the IPA 2017 edition for African innovators. We strongly believe that investing in today’s home-grown innovations will propel tomorrow’s prosperity for Africa.”   
The theme for IPA 2017 is African innovation: Investing in prosperity. In line with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 9 which calls on countries to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation, AIF believes that funding streams, investment and resources are critical to obtain a clear value chain for innovation in Africa, contributing to sustainable development.
Chairman of the AIF Board, Walter Fust, stated: “IPA has demonstrated that African innovation talent is abundant, but funding and resources remain a challenge.  For IPA 2017, we are expanding our outreach beyond innovators to include investors and other key movers and shakers across the innovation landscape to help address this challenge.  To meet this objective of increasing support to individual innovators, makers, training institutions, existing hubs and networks, the IPA will offer sponsorship opportunities to investors and other innovation enablers who can demonstrate their commitment to support the building of more robust African innovation ecosystems.”

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