Innovation Prize for Africa makes call for local innovation, puts up $150,000 prize

Nigel Gambanga Avatar

By now, most of us have noticed how the pairing of innovation and entrepreneurship is used whenever people are looking for sustainable solutions to some of the most trying problems faced in any environment.

It’s also been woven into the story on African creativity and the continent’s potential. This drive for the most relevant solutions has ignited several causes that are leaning on needs based entrepreneurship as a significant part of the story on Africa’s turnaround. Zimbabwe is also part of this conversation, and we’ve noticed this inclusion in more recent examples like the Innovation Prize for Africa(AIP).

So what is the Innovation Prize for Africa? This is an annual competition, launched in 2011 by the African Innovation Foundation with the objective of identifying and promoting African led development through innovation.

The theme for this year’s Innovation Prize for Africa is Made In Africa, something meant to encapsulate the belief in home grown solutions for African challenges from African innovations.

Zimbabwean innovators are being called to take part in this year’s AIP and though most people would like to align innovation with IT only, the African Innovation Prize extends to diverse industries. These include science and technology; environment and energy; agricultural business; health and well-being, manufacturing and services and IT.

An agric solution
Agricultural solutions and innovations are also being considered for the African Innovation Prize

The prize money has been set at $150,000, with the first prize winner walking away with $100,000 while the remaining $50,000 is split evenly between the innovation with the best social impact and the innovation with greatest potential to be turned into a commercially sustainable solution. All nominees also receive a $5,000 boost for their innovations.

The African Innovation Foundation will be in Harare to explain how the Innovation Prize for Africa will be conducted and how Zimbabwean innovators can also be part of this initiative. This meetup, which is slated for Friday the 14th of August and starts at 6 pm will be held at local co-working space Area 46 in Mt Pleasant.

To sign up for this event, you can click on the link below.

Invitation to African Innovation Prize Zimbabwe Meet Up at Area 46


  1. macd chip

    Victor Mukandatsama, is Max and his SAITH company registered for this event? Considering all what he said, lm sure you agree with me this is the place where his vision, ideas and acumen is well understood.

    Can you update us please since you showed enough energy to promote him here!

    Nigel, what makes one qualify? what are the requirements to participate? Which other countries are in for this?

    1. tinm@n


    2. Nigel Gambanga

      @Tinm@n It’s just the general impression I gathered from people that were following Innovation Baraza, another initiative with a broad appreciation of innovation, creativity and need based solutions.
      Yes, it raised concerns, and also sparks debate around the sort of drive for innovation that should be fostered in all these other disciplines. It would be encouraging to get local innovative solutions for some of the challenges faced in these “traditional” sectors. Which is something that I hope AIP is going to encourage.

  2. tinm@n

    “….though most people would like to align innovation with IT only…”


    Unless if by “most” you mean your circle of people, which would be concerning

    1. TheKing

      Sadly a lot of people who comment on this platform have the mentality, innovation is limited to IT.

  3. tsvenz

    Where’s Victor? Will Sangulani and his Greener Power be there?

    1. macd chip

      If not we also want to know why!! I do believe Victor is a church member who was trying to help a fellow worshiper.

      His reporting on that issue left a lot to be desired. He should be fair to readers of Techzim and make a follow up of whats happening.

  4. kundai

    innovation innovation innovation only makes sense when you innovate. I would like to see zimbos actually innovate without thinking about fame and fortune. it would be a great help for your average zimbo innovator to participate in projects that don’t have a lumpsum at the end try making a commit on github or make an instructable or do some research into a local problem.