About the Award Pan-African Award from Austria: Call for Innovations for Social Entrepreneurs

Africa – Europe: Taking cooperation to the digital age 

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

What we offer

Funding icon

Social Enterprises that are accepted to the Innovation Bootcamp will have the opportunity to pitch to a high-level jury that will determine which 3 teams will each receive a grant of 250,000 EUR from the Austrian Development Agency.

Visibility icon

Finalists will gain international recognition and exposure.

bootcamp icon

9 social enterprises will be accepted to participate in a fully virtual WFP Innovation Bootcamp, where they will benefit from the chance to work with technical and industry experts, who will provide guidance to further develop and refine their solutions.

Networking icon

Selected teams will be able to connect with an entrepreneur ecosystem and leverage a strong network of mentors, investors and business to accelerate implementation.

Hands on support icon

The 3 winning teams will additionally benefit from the WFP Sprint Programme, a 12-month acceleration programme with access to mentorship, knowledge management and WFP’s global network of partners.

The Set-Up of the Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa

The Austrian Federal Chancellery is inviting African social entrepreneurs and purpose-driven enterprises with a measurable social impact and sustainable business model to apply in order to bring their social impact to scale and benefit as many Africans as possible.


Nine candidate teams will be selected to further develop their solutions in the 5-day intensive Innovation Bootcamp and consequently pitch their solutions in front of a high-level jury. 

Alongside this, candidates will further benefit from the Support Network of the Kofi Annan Award for Africa – a community of passionate and engaged mentors, investors, consultants, corporate partners and industry experts who share one goal: to help social entrepreneurs get access to the right resources at the right time.

How we select innovations

How we select innovations: Impact & Scalability, Team, Innovativeness, Traction, Business Model

Innovations will be evaluated and selected according to the following criteria: 

  1. Impact & Scalability: The idea has the potential to positively impact the health and wellbeing of a specific population. 
  2. Business Model: the project has a scalable product/service with sustainable revenue generation and scalable financial model. 
  3. Team: The team members have relevant experience, are committed to the project and ability to implement the solution. 
  4. Innovativeness: The idea is a new technology, the approach of applying existing technology, process or business model addressing a problem. 
  5. Traction: The innovation has shown demonstrable results in terms revenue, customers, investments, or grants.


The Kofi Annan Award for Africa is organized by the Austrian Federal Chancellery, together with the Kofi Annan Foundation and the operational support of the World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator and the Austrian Development Agency.

Grafic Award Partnerships: High Level Jury; Kofi Annan Foundation, Word Food Programme, Austrian Development Agency; Support Network


Thanks to those who applied

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, 49 of thmen are African countries! 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 are 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