Unilever, DFID, EY launch African sanitation innovation challenge

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Unilever, EY and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) have launched a challenge to identify and fund African companies working on innovative ways to meet the sanitation needs of underserved consumers.

The TRANSFORM: Utilities Sanitation Challenge is open to applicants based in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Two challenge winners will receive up to GBP250,000 (US$323,000) in funding, as well as support and guidance from Unilever and EY.

“Sanitation is a big issue for many cities across sub-Saharan Africa,” said Richard Wright, behavioural science director at Unilever. 

“We believe that utilities are key to solving this development challenge. Not only do they possess the relationships, organisational capabilities and the necessary infrastructure to lead the way in innovating, but they also have a deep and crucial understanding of their communities. They are well placed to lead on creating on-site sanitation solutions that people will use and pay for, even the poorest.” 

The TRANSFORM: Utilities Sanitation Challenge wants to help de-risk innovation and give utilities a chance to experiment with new ideas that could scale. More information can be found here.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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