Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa 2021

More than 330 innovative African entrepreneurs from across 38 countries applied for a chance to win 250,000 euros, take part in our Innovation Bootcamp and benefit from a strong network of partners and international visibility. Stay tuned as our high-level jury will select three winner from the final fantastic ventures this summer!

The final nine ventures with the most promising digital health solutions were selected in early 2022 and have recently undergone an intensive Innovation Bootcamp with the WFP Innovation Accelerator. They are currently preparing to pitch to our high-level jury and are working hard on scaling up their solutions to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health & Well-being for all.

Benefits for finalists

what we offer, as described below

How it works

1 Source: A Panafrican call for innovations is launched and promoted be international and regaional partners. 2 Boost: 9 Teams are invited to take part in an innovation bootcamp and pitch to a jury panel. 3 Award: The 3 teams with highest potential are awarded 250.000 EUR. Winners are presented at a prestigiuos public event. 4 Accelerate: The 3 winning teams ventures receive support throught 12 months to build the foundations for growth.

Tapping into African Entrepreneurs‘ potential for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

By 2035, Africa will have the world’s largest labour force. By 2050, more than half of the world’s population growth will happen in Africa. With a fast growing and young population, Africa is at the forefront of the digital economy. Already today, the continent boasts one of the world’s highest entrepreneurship rates – women in Africa are twice more likely to start a business than women elsewhere in the world.

This growth will bring with it in equal measure unique challenges and opportunities. The Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa seeks to raise awareness for the potential African entrepreneurs hold to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and honour the late Kofi Annan’s legacy and commitment to a more just and equitable world.

Africa – Europe: Taking cooperation to the digital age

Federal chancellor Sebastian Kurz with Paul Kagame, president of Ruanda, at the High Level Forum Africa - Europe on 18 decembre 2018.

In line with Austria’s 'bridge-building' tradition, the Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa seeks to promote innovation and digitalisation as a key enabler of development and contribute to a new partnership of equals between Africa and Europe.

At the 6th EU-African Union Summit, Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer stressed: "With this prestigious million-euro Award, we are supporting long-term innovative start-ups in African countries and promoting further strengthening of cross-continental relations. At the same time, we are helping to improve healthcare for the population through digital innovations."

The vision of the Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa was born out of the "High-Level Forum Africa – Europe: taking cooperation to the digital age" hosted by then Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and President Paul Kagame in the framework of Austria’s presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2018. The Forum highlighted the untapped potential for deepening the partnership between Africa and Europe in technology exchange and trade as well as their importance for economic growth, creating employment opportunities, building resilient societies and fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals.

For further questions about the application, please contact: mail@kofiannanaward.at.