Open Innovation for Africa: Countdown to Contest Final

April 25, 2013 By IdeaConnection

130937Excitement is building for the 2013 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) competition. Ten African finalists have just been selected from more than 900 submissions from 45 countries.

The annual open innovation contest is a global call for market-oriented ideas to help solve some of Africa’s most pressing problems whilst simultaneously driving economic growth.  These include challenges such as sanitation, malaria, and access to energy.

The competition also promotes the pursuit of science, technology engineering, and business careers to young people in Africa and shows how they can contribute to sustainable development in the continent.


The winners will be announced at a gala dinner on 7 May in Cape Town, South Africa. The overall 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 $25,000 and another finalist will receive $25, 000 for social innovation.

Among the ten finalists are:

Zero-Blade Wind Convertor (Tunisia) – a wind turbine without blades.  The innovation uses sailboat technology to create cost-effective energy through a back-and-forth 3D motion.

The Fonia Husker Machine (Senegal) – an electric and thermal powered machine that husks 5 kilograms of a West African serial in just eight minutes.

AgriProtein (South Africa) – a new source of low-cost animal feed protein.

Creative Ways to Overcome Challenges

“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.

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