The second edition of the Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa is currently open for applications. This prestigious award, a collaboration between the Austrian Federal Chancellery and the Kofi Annan Foundation, is actively seeking visionary social entrepreneurs who have developed digital or technology-powered solutions to address the diverse needs of people across Africa.
This initiative extends a warm invitation to entrepreneurial start-ups that not only boast a proven business model but have also showcased a tangible social impact. The goal is to identify and support innovative ventures that exhibit the potential to scale their operations significantly, ensuring that their positive influence reaches and benefits a broad spectrum of the African population.
Interested candidates are encouraged to submit their comprehensive business plans, providing a detailed overview of their innovative solutions, business strategies, and the demonstrated social impact they have achieved thus far. This opportunity serves as a platform for exceptional social entrepreneurs to elevate their initiatives, contributing to the broader advancement and betterment of communities throughout Africa.
Eligibility Criteria and Application Details for the Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa
- In order to be considered for the prestigious Kofi Annan Award, applicants must fulfill the following criteria:
- The applicant’s venture must be a for-profit legal entity and have been incorporated for a minimum of two years at the time of application.
- The proposed solution should be anchored in at least one African country, demonstrating a commitment to addressing challenges within the continent.
- The applicant must have existing contacts or a presence in the country of implementation, which could include a country office, subsidiary, long-term operations, or established partnerships.
- The innovation must clearly address one or more priority topics specified in the call for applications, focusing on Sustainable Development Goal 2 Zero Hunger.
- The innovation should have a total addressable market comprising more than 1 million people.
- The innovation must be at least at the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) stage, with a validated prototype through user testing also considered eligible.
- A committed founding team with a minimum of three full-time employees is a prerequisite for eligibility.
- Applicants should provide evidence of user/customer validation of the value proposition of their solution.
- The venture should demonstrate a clear path to commercial viability and financial sustainability, showcasing a well-fitted business model.
- There should be a potential plan to implement the solution as part of the 12-month Sprint programme.
- Innovations should aim to change or establish new routines and positively impact aspects such as food security, employment and income generation, and/or climate resilience and natural resource protection.
- Ventures should have a diverse, non-discriminatory, gender-balanced team with demonstrated leadership and an entrepreneurial mindset.
- Priority is given to ventures that promote gender equality and empower women, either through beneficiaries, job creation, or having a high representation of women in leadership roles.
- The entity should pay attention to environmental protection, climate change, gender equality, women empowerment, and social inclusion, aligning with the principles of leaving no one behind.
- The entity should not fall under any points listed in the solemn declaration, ensuring ethical and responsible practices.
About the 2nd Edition:
The second edition of the Kofi Annan Award places a specific emphasis on Sustainable Development Goal 2 – Zero Hunger, aiming to enhance the resilience of African food systems. Collaborating with esteemed partner organizations, the Austrian Federal Chancellery seeks to support innovative digital solutions in agritech and food security across Africa.
Priority Topics for Innovations:
- Inclusion of marginalized groups in food security
- Enhanced nutrition for women
- Circular solutions and reduction of post-harvest losses
Interested candidates can apply for the Kofi Annan Award through the following steps:
- Complete the Application Form available on the official platform.
- If aware of relevant ventures, submit details through the Referral Submission Form.
- Successful applications will be selected for a fully virtual WFP Innovation Bootcamp in February 2024.
- Shortlisted applicants will be contacted, while all applications are valued, only shortlisted candidates will be notified.
Even if your idea is in the developmental stage, submit your application to be part of a pool of solutions focusing on climate-resilient agriculture, potentially considered for future programs.
Note: Proficiency in English is essential for at least one team member, as the entire program is conducted in English.
Deadline for Submission
The closing date for the submission of applications is set for February 8, 2024. This signifies the final opportunity for interested individuals or entities to present their proposals for consideration in the second edition of the Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa. All applications must be completed and submitted by this deadline to be eligible for review. Late submissions will not be considered. Aspiring candidates are encouraged to carefully adhere to this timeline to ensure their participation in this impactful initiative.