Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa (KAAIA)

Thank you for applying!

832 applications from 89 countries, 49 of them are African countries

Congratulations to all those who applied, we look forward to building our next KAAIA cohort!

We are thrilled to announce that the second edition of the Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa collected 832 applications from 89 countries around the world! This goes to show the many ways we can come together to end hunger and malnutrition in Africa with the power of innovation. The applications are now being reviewed. We are very much looking forward to presenting our nine finalists with their innovative ideas.

After a successful first edition, the second edition of the Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa is committed to identifying and supporting innovative solutions that enhance food security and food systems resilience throughout Africa. As such, we seek innovative solutions from across Africa that contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 2, Zero Hunger, with a strong focus on achieving food security and improving nutrition.

What we were looking for

The KAAIA 2023/24 seeks to support technology-powered solutions and approaches that are helping to improve food security and systems in African countries. From 18 January to 8 February we welcomed applications from African social entrepreneurs with digital or technology-powered solutions for people in Africa. Innovations should address one or more of the following priority topics:

  • Inclusion of marginalized groups in food security
  • Enhanced nutrition for women
  • Circular solutions and reduction of post-harvest losses

The applications are now being reviewed. We are very much looking forward to presenting our nine finalists with their innovative ideas.

About the KAAIA

The Austrian Federal Chancellery, together with the Kofi Annan Foundation, invites entrepreneurial start-ups with a proven business model and a demonstrated social impact to submit their business plans in order to bring their impact to scale and benefit as many Africans as possible. The award is operationally supported by the Austrian Development Agency and the WFP Innovation Accelerator. 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.

Read more About the Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa.

About the 2nd edition

The focus of the second edition is on Sustainable Development Goal 2 Zero Hunger to improve the resilience of the African food systems. Therefore, with the Kofi Annan Award, the Austrian Federal Chancellery, together with well-renowned partner organizations, is looking to support innovative and digital food security and agritech solutions across Africa and boost their impact.  The Call will be open to African social entrepreneurs and purpose-driven enterprises with a measurable social impact and sustainable business model. 

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.

Why tackle SDG 2 "Zero Hunger"?

The importance of redoubling the global efforts to transform agri-food systems was recently highlighted by the findings of the UN report on the“State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2023”. Global hunger is still far above pre-pandemic levels – It is estimated that between 690 and 783 million people in the world faced hunger in 2022. And hunger is still on the rise. Moreover, it is projected that almost 600 million people will be chronically undernourished in 2030. This demonstrates the immense challenge of achieving the SDG target to eradicate hunger, particularly in Africa. Therefore, Austria has made a new commitment towards the World Food Programme i.e. 60 Mio. EUR more for the years 2023 to 2025.

Additionally, it is time to scale-up innovation and collaboration, because ensuring food security not only requires natural resource. It also requires continuous innovation and entrepreneurial drive, especially in the current context. The term AGRI-TECH is crucial in this context: agri-tech describes how technological innovations boost output, efficiency, and profitability – As a result, those innovations can become a turning point in the fight against hunger. It involves big data, AI, and other technologies to address agricultural challenges. The number of agritech providers has recently increased sharply, but those solutions need to be further developed. Therefore, the Austrian Federal Chancellery wants to contribute with the 2nd edition of the Kofi Annan Award. Innovative ideas and creative impulses are necessary to build a robust food supply in the future.


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. Not all societal and social problems can be solved exclusively at government level. Hence, digital and innovative ideas are urgently needed. Austria has recognized Africa's enormous potential for promising innovations many years ago and wants to accompany the youngest continent in its upswing in the best possible way.