AIF invites Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Togo to bid to host IPA 2017

The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) will embark on a series of roadshows in Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Togo to meet with key stakeholders and discuss the bidding process to host the premier event on the African continent, the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA). Through these roadshows, AIF will build partnerships with key government leaders, private companies, institutional organizations, innovation enablers and investors. The delegation will host a range of meetings and presentations to enlist wider public and private sector participation in IPA 2017, themed African Innovation: Investing in Prosperity. To date, IPA winners and nominees have demonstrated the impact of IPA through increased business opportunities and further investment drives to the tune of over US$ 14.5 million.

Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl, IPA Program Director is enthusiastic about building synergies with potential new country host partners commented:  “The roadshow is an essential leg of the IPA in terms of understanding the unique aspects of each country’s innovation landscape and the various parties involved in developing their own innovation ecosystems. It also allows AIF to catalyse the innovation spirit, galvanize support in raising the profiles of African innovators, and create expanded opportunities to attract the right investments at a Pan-African and international level”.

The three West African countries invited to bid to host the next IPA event, now in its sixth year running, have been selected based on their commitment towards driving innovation-led socio-economic growth at national level and beyond. Being awarded the title as the AIF host country for IPA 2017 will provide the chosen country an opportunity to raise its innovation profile at a Pan-African and international level, while forging new partnerships with regional innovation leaders and investors to strengthen their respective innovation ecosystems. To date, the prestigious award has been hosted in Botswana (2016), Morocco (2015), Nigeria (2014), South Africa (2013) and Ethiopia (2012).

During the roadshows, scheduled to take place from 05 - 13 December 2016, AIF will conduct a series of high level meetings with Ministries and key government officials. These meetings seek to ascertain each country’s innovation development goals and outline synergies and areas of collaboration that can result from hosting the two-day IPA event. The AIF delegation will also be available to meet with members of the business, civil society and academic communities, and conduct workshops for local innovators in each of these countries to encourage and guide their participation to contend for the Prize, shaping the next wave of African innovation across the continent.

The roadshows present stakeholders with opportunities to strengthen local innovation communities in their respective countries. Through these synergies, AIF aims to stimulate dialogue to strengthen regulatory environments that foster innovation, attract investors, and create jobs.

Walter Fust, AIF Chairman of the Board fully supports partnerships with African governments, the pinnacle around the establishment of IPA commented: “We have come a long way since the inaugural IPA edition in Addis Ababa where leading African leaders endorsed the IPA and passed a resolution to support the AIF to promote innovation-based societies across the continent. Our theme this year African Innovation: Investing in Prosperity takes us a step further in our Pan-African vision to keep innovation at the forefront of all national agendas, and we look forward to working with our next host country for a ground-breaking IPA 2017.” 

Organizations who are keen to support IPA 2017 by way of sponsorship and other means of collaboration are invited to contact AIF to arrange for meetings to discuss opportunities. These organizations may include key stakeholders from the public and private sector, including local and multi-national companies, investment companies, institutional organisations, civil society organizations, innovation hubs and academic institutions.

The IPA 2017 Call for Applications is currently underway. Apply NOW at! Submission deadline is Tuesday 3 January 2017 at 11:59pm GMT. 

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