The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) has announced this year’s Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) awards ceremony will be held in Gaborone, Botswana in June, with one innovator to be awarded the grand prize of US$100,000.
The IPA call for applications ran from August to October 2015, attracting more than 3,600 respondents from 50 African countries.
A crop of finalists will be chosen for the 2016 competition, with the winning innovator to be rewarded with US$100,000. Second place will take US$25,000, while there is also a special prize for social impact of the same amount. Each IPA nominee will be given a voucher of US$5,000, while the top 10 young innovators and the top 10 female innovators will receive business development support after the awards event.
The decision to host the IPA in Botswana received endorsement from the Botswanan president Seretse Khama Ian Khama, who said its selection was evidence of its commitment towards building its national innovation ecosystem.
“Hosting IPA 2016 and celebrating African ingenuity in Gaborone will afford Botswana an opportunity to showcase its commitment to putting innovation at the centre of its development strategy,” said the Botswanan minister of infrastructure, science and technology, Nonofo Molefhi.
“We are greatly honoured to have been selected to host IPA 2016 and look forward to showcasing the positive strides Botswana and indeed Africa is making in the innovation landscape.”
The theme of this year’s event is ‘Made in Africa’, and is based on the AIF’s belief that Africa can position itself on the global stage through self-innovation.
“We are delighted to collaborate with the Botswana government in celebrating African ingenuity. With its many inspiring and success stories, Botswana is an excellent choice to host the fifth edition of IPA, helping us continue to catalyse the innovation spirit in Africa,” said Walter Fust, chairman of the AIF board.
“’Made in Africa’ heralds a message of enterprise and prosperity for African innovators, and we encourage more Africans, especially young people and women to create transformation through innovation – not only in their lives – but in the broader community and their respective economies.”