17 - 18 July

7 500+ innovators 52 African countries Celebrated in 6 cities


The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) welcomes you to the 6th edition of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) event and the Second Innovation Ecosystems Connector scheduled for 17-18 July 2017, in Accra, Ghana

Innovation Prize for Africa

celebrating African ingenuity

Innovation Prize for Africa

The goal of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) is to strengthen African innovation ecosystems through supporting a culture of innovation and competitiveness, whilst spurring growth of innovative, market-driven African solutions to African challenges. Each year, we reward selected African innovators with US$ 185 000, working with innovation enablers to unlock their potential.

IPA catalyses innovation in Africa through providing a unique platform for showcasing innovative ideas that create value or solve old and new challenges. These include building the capacity of innovators across Africa, propelling African ingenuity, and preparing innovators for global markets.

IPA has generated a total of US$ 30 Million+ investment for African innovators (US$ 1 million direct support from AIF to winners and nominees and US$ 29 Million+ investments secured for winners and nominees).

5 Facts About the IPA

Meet the IPA Team

IPA Director
Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl
IPA Process Manager
Robinson Esialimba

Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl |


Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl joined the African Innovation Foundation in July 2011 as the IPA Program Director, but is also responsible formanaging the innovation and technology programs of the Foundation. Pauline focuses on cultivating market-orientated solutions for African-leddevelopment across the continent, building an innovation ecosystem that will invigorate economic growth across Africa.

Pauline has more than 15 years' international development experience with organizations such as UNICEF and GTZ in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, ENDA Tiers Monde in Senegal, and the Jewish Family and Children's Service and TANGO International in the USA.

Prior to joining the AIF, she worked for the World Health Organization in Geneva and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement Foundation inUSA. Pauline currently serves as a board member of the Flame Tree Initiative, a US-based NGO that focuses on using ICTs to address the digitaldivide through collaboration with African universities. She is also one of the Bellagio/PopTech Catalysts, a joint initiative between theRockefeller Foundation and PopTech which brings together a global community of innovators and thought leaders from different fields to shareinsights and work together to create lasting change.

Pauline has a BA Honors degree in international studies from the University of Arizona with a core focus on sub-Saharan Africa development. She also has a Master's degree in Poverty and Development from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Sussex University, United Kingdom where shewas a Fulbright Scholar. In addition, Pauline served as a Fulbright Fellow at UNESCO, Paris, focussing on freedom of expression, democracy andpeace.

Pauline has a passion for people and their development, and dedicates her time towards ensuring the economic and social empowerment of Africans.Recently, she received the Social Responsibility Alumna Award from the University of Arizona Honors College for her commitment in promoting socialresponsibility throughout her life.

Robinson Esialimba |

IPA Process Manager

Robinson Esialimba joined the African Innovation Foundation in September 2013 as Process Manager, responsible for operational running of theInnovation Prize for Africa (IPA) and related activities.

Prior to joining AIF, Robinson founded and was managing an online platform that provided African technology startups with business strategyconsulting and connections to viable sources of financing.

Robinson comes with a wealth of management experience of over 10 years, having worked in senior management positions in international organizationsand UN agencies in Africa and Europe. He was a Senior Technical Officer with the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva,Switzerland, advising on patent licensing for vaccine and pharmaceutical companies in Africa.

Robinson holds a law degree from the University of Nairobi in Kenya, and a Masters in Law from the University of Lund in Sweden, specializing inintellectual property law and innovation. In addition to intellectual property law, he has interests in private equity financing, internationaltrade law and project management.

Laura Yuego |

IPA Program Officer

Laura Yuego is the Program Officer for Innovation Prize for Africa, a flagship program of the African Innovation Foundation. Her mainresponsibilities include supporting the IPA team on all operations, as well as program and administrative assistance.

Laura is from Cameroon where she initially studied for her Masters in African Business Law, after which she began her teaching career as a PhDAssistant at the Faculty of Law at the University of Yaoundé 2 in Cameroon. She then obtained a Masters in Management of Development programs inAfrica from the University of Paris 11 in France.

Prior to joining AIF, Laura worked as a Program Officer for a Swiss NGO, assisting livelihoods in the Himalayas. As a lawyer, she also worked for ahumanitarian NGO inspired by Christian faith to relieve human suffering in some of the world's most remote and devastated areas.

Laura has over seven years' experience working in the non-profit sector in Africa and Switzerland. She joined AIF because the Foundation's mandatewas a right fit with her desire to work for an organization focused on increasing growth in Africa through African human potential.

Laura is married and has 2 daughters.

AIF & its Purpose

The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) was established in 2009 as a not-for-profit, registered in Switzerland and Angola. Our purpose is to increase the prosperity of Africans by catalysing the innovation spirit in Africa.
Our credo: to see needs-based change happen through innovation-led programming.

Thematic Focus

Showcasing innovators and foster an innovation culture across the continent
Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA)

Supporting legal business ecosystems through innovative access to law
African Law Library (ALL)

Empowering the local population

Social Impact Program for Angola (SIPA)

We are inspired by People Participation Partnerships
Find out more about us at


Each year, 10 nominees are selected through a rigorous and validated process driven by an expert panel of judges. After face-to-face pitching sessions, the top three winners are selected. IPA winners and nominees received a prize share of US$ 185 000 and additional incentives.

Nokwethu Khojane

Lakheni (South Africa)

Nokwethu (39 years) is a co-founders of Lakheni. Nokwethu has a background in business and marketing and event management. She holds a Post Graduate Business Administration Diploma and an MBA, both from University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business in South Africa. She is also involved in a number of charitable activities in South Africa.

Lakheni is a social and business model innovation which seeks to aggregate low-income households into buying-groups in order to negotiate favorable discounts for goods and services supplied to these households. Most poor people end up paying for goods and services at a unit price that is usually much higher than the unit price paid by other people with more disposable income. This is because as goods and services are packaged into smaller and smaller units to make them affordable they become less economically efficient and end up costing higher than if one was to buy in bulk or in larger units. In essence, the poor end up paying a poverty premium.

Through Lakheni, Nokwethu has developed an innovative business model that uses a mobile phone application to aggregate diverse women from townships in Cape Town who are parents in day-care centers or members of church groups into a buying group. She is then able to negotiate discounts and generate much needed savings to these low-income earners. She is helping them negotiate away the poverty premium. At the moment, service has focused on acquisition of food commodities and is looking to apply the same model to other sectors like financial services.

Peris Bosire

FarmDrive (Kenya)

Peris Bosire (26 years) is a social entrepreneur and co-founder of FarmDrive. Peris has a First Class Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Nairobi. She is also a winner of the prestigious 2016 Queen's Young Leaders Award from Her Majesty the Queen and the 2016 Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work.

FarmDrive is a financial technology company that has developed a mobile phone based application that collects data and provides an alternative risk assessment model for small holder farmers. While the continent remains largely dependent on agriculture, one of the biggest challenges facing smallholder farmers is access to credit or finance. Most financial institutions are reluctant to grant credit to farmers because their risk assessment models flag small farmers as being very risky.

FarmDrive has developed a new methodology for assessing credit worthiness of farmers that has led to higher acceptance rate of loan applications by farmers while maintaining a very low default rate. This could have the effect of significantly boosting agricultural production on the continent while helping financial institutions cost effectively increase their agricultural loan portfolios.

Gift Gana

Dr.CADx (Zimbabwe)

Gift Gana (34), is a tech entrepreneur and founder of award winning tech company, Avelgood Apps. He holds a BSc (Hons) Applied Physics degree from the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe, and has also taken postgraduate courses in business management at the same institution.

Dr CADx is a computer aided diagnostic system that helps doctors and health care workers diagnose medical images more accurately. Due to the scarcity of radiologists on the continent, most medical images are read by general doctors or other health care workers who lack expertise and end up misdiagnosing more than 30% of the cases that they review. As a result, millions of patients fail to get the right treatment or the treatment is delayed leading to more complications like increased cost and complexity of treatment, spread of communicable disease and even death.

Dr CADx uses deep learning, a technology that simulates how the human brain works, to recognise patterns that are characteristic of the disease in the images. Once an image is transferred to a computer with the software installed, making a diagnosis is as easy as uploading a photo to Facebook and getting a diagnosis in a few seconds. The current prototype achieves an accuracy of 82% which is an improvement on the 70% average for radiologists. Additionally, Dr CADx is designed to work in low resource settings with poor internet connectivity opening it up for use in many rural settings in Africa.

Omolabake Adenle

Voice Recognition and Speech Synthesis Software for African Languages (Nigeria)

Omolabake Adenle (35), is the founder of AJA.LA Studios, a startup building a platform of African language voice recognition and speech synthesis software. She holds a PhD in Bayesian Signal Processing from Cambridge University where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and Tau Beta Pi Honors Fellow.

Abake's innovation is software that can understand and digitize spoken African languages, and synthesize speech from African languages presented as digitized text. Digitizing African languages in this way allows Africans to interact with hardware devices such as mobile phones, and digital services such as call-centre applications by speaking their local language. The software can be integrated into a wide range of devices and third-party software applications. While voice recognition and speech synthesis software have been developed for various Western and Asian languages, there has been very limited commercial application or academic research for African languages. The difficulty lies in modelling tonality present in most African languages, limited data resources for language modelling, and the challenge of modelling the plurality of African languages.

Using deep learning, Abake has developed complex algorithms and acoustic models for voice recognition and speech synthesis for two African languages. She is currently working on 14 native and colonial African languages, with Swahili and Yoruba available for testing. She is also currently working with various African retail banks and insurance companies on automating call-centre query resolution in local languages to help address issues of financial inclusion. This innovation can open access to the benefits of technology for illiterate Africans who can access phones. It is also relevant to urban Africans who wish to interact with digital services in native or colonial African languages.

Dougbeh-Chris Nyan

A New Technology for Rapid Detection of Many Infections Using Only One Test (Liberia)

Dr. Dougbeh Christopher Nyan (53), is a medical doctor, a biomedical research scientist, an inventor, and a social activist at the same time. He studied zoology and chemistry at the College of Science and Technology of the University of Liberia and earned a degree in human-medicine (infectious diseases) from the Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin Medizinische Fakultat - Charite in Germany. He was later trained as a biomedical scientist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA.

Dougbeh has developed a rapid test that can detect and simultaneously differentiate at least three to seven infections at the same time within 10 to 40 minutes. In most African countries there is a lack of sophisticated diagnostic devices and limited expertise in high-tech diagnostics. This hinders the clinical decision-making ability of healthcare providers. His diagnostic test provides a solution to this clinical problem. Dougbeh's innovation is easy to use in any setting. Additionally, the device is able to detect and distinguish multiple infections which bear the same symptoms for instance, when a patient has yellow fever, malaria, and Ebola. Whereas most testing methods take 3 - 7 days, Dougbeh's device gives test results in 10 - 40 minutes.

Dougbeh is currently working on the second prototype of his innovation after obtaining positive results from his first prototype. The results have been validated with human clinical samples, peer-reviewed and published in several respected scientific journals such as "Nature-Scientific Reports." His innovation has the potential of being a game changer in the continent in the detection and management of infectious diseases for quality patient-care.

Aly El-Shafei

Smart Electro-Mechanical Actuator Journal Integrated Bearing "SEMAJIB" (Egypt)

Prof. Aly El-Shafei received his bachelor's degree and Master's degree from Cairo University, Egypt, and his Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) all in Mechanical Engineering. Dr. El-Shafei is a recipient of several grants and awards.

The patented innovation (SEMAJIB) presented by Dr. El-Shafei, is a smart bearing which is versatile and can change its characteristics as it operates. It consists of a magnetic bearing imbedded in an oil-filled journal bearing, thus forming the smart controllable bearing. There is a significant improvement in turbine performance using the SEMAJIB particularly in single line combined cycle plants, as well as conventional generator technology. This technology is patented in the US since 2010 and a newer version is patent pending also in the US.

The device is designed to be used to support energy generating turbines and can be used to improve efficiency and reduce costs of generating energy in Africa. Second this is an innovation that the West is striving to and does not currently have, as shown by Siemens' interest in the device. This is a worldwide innovation originating from Africa, thus reversing Africa's image as a technology consumer to become a technology producer. Third, producing these bearings in Africa would generate jobs and revenues to Africa, as it clearly can be exported to the West.

Philippa Ngaju Makobore

Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set (ECGF) (Uganda)

Philippa Ngaju Makobore has a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alberta, Canada and a professional certificate in Embedded Systems Engineering from the University of California, Irvine, USA. She is a recipient of numerous healthcare awards.

Philippa's innovation, the Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set (ECGF) is designed to accurately administer intravenous (IV) fluids and drugs by controlling the rate of fluid flow based on feedback from a drop sensor. It is easy to operate and has key safety features which include alarms for rate of infusion (rapid or slow), total volume (over or under) and faulty sensors. A battery utilizing a hybrid (AC mains and solar) charging bed powers the device.

IV infusions are critical for both adults and children in various situations. Over 10% of children admitted to East African hospitals need immediate infusion therapy. Findings from the FEAST trial indicates that over-infusion in children increased the absolute risk of death by 3.3 % at 48 hours. Erroneous delivery rates can result into serious adverse effects. The ECGF has the potential to save lives by providing accuracy and safety at 8% the cost of a brand new infusion pump.

Olanisun Olufemi Adewole

Sweat TB Test (Nigeria)

Olanisun, is a Nigerian Physician and a Reader in Medicine at Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. He has MBBS degree (University of Ibadan, Nigeria) and a postgraduate degree in Internal Medicine and Pulmonology from the Postgraduate Medical College Nigeria. He is a recipient of several awards.

Olanisun's innovation, Sweat TB Test, is a non-invasive rapid diagnostic test to detect tuberculosis (TB). TB is second only to HIV/AIDS as a leading cause of death in Africa. Available methods are high tech; cannot be deployed in rural centers, dependent only sputum which may not be possible and considered messy by patients. It is time consuming with patients making repeated clinic visits before a diagnosis is made. Delay in diagnosis and missed diagnosis of 3million TB cases occur leading to continuous spread of the disease.

Sweat TB Test leverages on TB specific marker in sweat of patients, to produce a point- of- care test to detect TB, within ten minutes, without any needle prick. In simple steps, reports are read and patients commenced on medication as needed at the same clinic visit. It has the potential to contribute towards effectively controlling TB, reduce TB related deaths and holds promise to prevent drug resistance TB in Africa.

Nzola Swasisa

Lokole (Democratic Republic of Congo)

Nzola Swasisa is a radio communications technician from the Congo DRC. Nzola has decades of experience working with telecommunications infrastructure and non-profits in underserved communities in the DRC, Angola, Zambia, Mozambique and Namibia.

Nzola's innovation, Lokole, is a device that enables access to efficient email communication anywhere with cellular coverage at a price that is one hundred to one thousand times cheaper than accessing email via regular cellular bandwidth costs. Lokole achieves this firstly by creating a shareable local area network where up to a hundred users within a 25 meters radius can access the network and share the costs. Secondly, it contains advanced algorithms that compress email and also schedules the uploads and downloads of data to when data bundles costs are at their cheapest. Costs per user could be as little as $0.01/person/day.

More than 71% of the African population doesn't have access to efficient communications. Lokole solves this communication problem and enables many communities to access efficient communication for the first time. Applications of Lokole include: health (remote-doctor), education (remote-teacher), commerce (purchase orders via email), business (attachment documents) and many more.

Badr Idrissi

Atlan Space (Morocco)

Badr Idrissi is CEO and Co-Founder of ATLAN Space a deep-technology startup. He is a former Microsoft Senior Account Executive, who holds an MBA from Ecole des Ponts Business School (Paris) and a Telecommunication Engineering Degree from ENSA.

Atlan Space develops software technology that is then deployed to manage the operations of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones. The software is currently tested for use in managing operations in detecting illegal or harmful maritime activity such as illegal fishing or oil spills over wide expanse areas. UAVs operated by this software can be launched and deployed into monitoring operations without having an aircraft operator. Also, by using Artificial Intelligence they are able to collect data, analyze and produce actionable reports.

African governments face numerous challenges in monitoring activities and operation over wide areas. This includes border patrols, deforestation, animal poaching and maritime activity. The software allows for the deployment of UAVs at a very cost effective price because it does not require an operator or long range transmission equipment or data analyst.

Meet our IPA 2017 Judges

IPA judges are drawn from across Africa, and must demonstrate experience in business, entrepreneurship and scientific evaluation. Each year, IPA carefully selects a team of expert judges with experience in the identified IPA priority areas.



Chairman and Editor-in-Chief at TRUE Africa



Director, Healthymagination Africa at General Electric, General Electric, Global Growth and Operations

Prof. Barthelemy


Professor Department of Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Yaounde, Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Teaching, Professionalization and Development of ICT, University of Bamenda, Cameroon



Communications Specialist

Dr Nicholas

South Africa

Founder, Director – Nurevas International AG, Oberwil, Switzerland and Nurevas Food Ghana Limited, Accra, Ghana


The following five thematic areas have been selected for the IPA 2017 competition:

Selection process & Criteria

The IPA competition follows a rigorous seven step selection process. IPA applications are then evaluated against the following five criteria:

Claude Grunitzky

Nationality: Togolese
Chairman and Editor-in-Chief at TRUE Africa

Successful serial entrepreneur in the magazine and advertising industries, Claude Grunitzky is the founder of TRACE and TRUE Africa, a new media tech platform funded by Google and other partners. Along with two business partners, he completed a multimillion-dollar financing deal led by Goldman Sachs Group. As a result, the TRACE brand is now being leveraged globally across various television, event and interactive platforms.

Claude was raised between Lome, Washington, DC, Paris, London and New York and speaks six languages. Foreign interactions shaped his transcultural philosophy and informed the creative energy of his media ventures. In 2013, he created the annual "Forum des Jeunes Entrepreneurs" in Togo, to identify, mentor and fund his native country's best young entrepreneurs.

He is a graduate of MIT and also sits on the board of the Watermill Center, a laboratory of inspiration and performance, founded by theater and visual artist Robert Wilson, which provides a unique environment for a global community of emerging and established artists and thinkers to gather and explore new ideas together. He is also a board member at Humanity in Action, a foundation that works internationally to build global leadership, defend democracy, protect minorities and improve human rights.


Nationality: Cameroonian
Returning judge, Chairman of the IPA 2017 selection panel
Professor, Department of Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Yaounde 1, Cameroon
Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Teaching, Professionalization and Development of ICT, University of Bamenda, Cameroon

Professor Nyasse Barthelemy has lectured at the University of Yaounde since 1986 after obtaining his PhD in Chemistry of Natural Products alternating between the University of Yaounde (Faculty of Science, Department of Organic Chemistry) and the National Museum of Natural History Paris (Chemistry Laboratory). After two years of academic services at the university, he joined the University of Uppsala for his second PhD, awarded to him in 1995.

After living in Sweden for six years-where he interned with multi-national pharmaceutical companies, acquiring knowledge on the protection of Intellectual Property (IP) assets and knowledge transfer - he returned to the University of Yaounde in 1995 where he was appointed Professor of Chemistry in 2005. He teaches organic chemistry and research methodologies in scientific research at the University of Yaounde and the University of Bamenda. He is the author of several scientific publications on the chemistry of natural products, IP and organic synthesis.

Kaburo Kobia

Nationality: Kenyan
Communications Specialist

Kaburo Kobia has twenty years professional experience in communications and online media including project management, online sales, information architecture, designing user experience, conceptualizing online solutions, writing and editing. She is passionate about digital media and the ways in which technology can mediate interaction. Her creative ability in design combined with her understanding of technology allows her to conceptualize workable ICT solutions ranging from mobile phone applications to websites, social networking to e-commerce.

In the last six years she worked in Kenya for a government agency managing IT projects specifically focused on promoting mobile and web applications. She has a passion for mentoring and most recently served as a mentor in the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa program. Previously, she worked as Communications Director at the World YWCA, a global not-for-profit organisation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland that reaches 25 million women.

Kaburo has been described as a tech early-adopter and is particularly interested in the convergence of technology and the arts. She also has a passion for human rights issues and has been an advisor for organisations that promote women's participation in leadership and technology.

Lilian Kidane

Nationality: Ethiopian
Director, Healthymagination Africa at General Electric, General Electric, Global Growth and Operations

Lilian Kidane has a background in health systems strengthening and commercial leadership particularly in the areas of access to and quality of health services spanning both public and private sectors. Currently, she holds a senior leadership role within General Electric overseeing the Africa portfolio of GE's $4B global health innovation endowment - Healthymagination - geared at lowering costs, increasing access and improving quality of care through disruptive innovation within viable commercial models.

Before joining GE as a Healthcare Market Development Leader in 2012, she served as Regional Director at the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). In this role, she served as a senior advisor to the Minister of Health on several programs designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health investments and hospital operations. During this time, she advised on the design of targeted financial solutions for high-priority areas such as maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, and malaria in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance. Prior to CHAI, she worked in consulting at Abt Associates Inc where she provided both management and analytical oversight for the National Health Accounts portfolio throughout Sub-saharan Africa and the Caribbean.

Dr Nicholas Draeger

Nationality: South African
Founder, Director - Nurevas International AG, Oberwil, Switzerland and Nurevas Food Ghana Limited, Accra, Ghana

A scientist, engineer, financier and entrepreneur, Nicholas started his career at Roche Pharmaceuticals in Research and later in Global Business Development. At the Italian pharmaceutical company, Recordati, he was Director of International Business Development. Later, Nicholas moved into the finance sector at the French finance group, Credit Agricole Indosuez Cheuvreux as head of the Biotech broker team. Nicholas was a member of the management team of BB Biotech and later portfolio manager at Adamant Biomedical Investments both in Switzerland, specialising in investments in particularly in Australia, Asia and South Africa, and venture capital. Nicholas is a Founder and Director of Cederberg GmbH, a Swiss pharmaceutical marketing and distribution company, and Founder and Director of Nurevas International, a food production and marketing company, with operations in Switzerland and Ghana.

Nicholas is an advisor to the Swiss diagnostics company, Hutman Diagnostics and an advisor to the CSIR in South Africa, amongst other responsibilities. Nicholas holds a Bsc (Hons) in Chemical Engineering from the University of Natal, a PhD from the University of Cambridge in Biochemical Engineering, and a MBA from the Warwick Business School.


IPA 2017 is hosted by the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, represented by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and Ghana 60 Years On Planning Committee. The decision to host IPA in Ghana received the highest endorsement from H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of Ghana, who will deliver the keynote address during the Awards ceremony. IPA is also one of the key events hosted by Ghana in its framework of celebrating 60 years of independence.

Read more . . .


IPA is hosted by the African Innovation Foundation (IPA) in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, represented by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and Ghana 60 Years On Planning Committee. The decision to host IPA in Ghana received the highest endorsement from H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of Ghana, who will deliver the keynote address during the Awards ceremony.

Ghana's selection as host country for IPA 2017 comes as a result of its commitment towards consolidating a thriving national innovation ecosystem. In its 60 years of independence, Ghana has been an example of progressive successes that have made the country and its advancements marketable and well respected globally. With the presence of world class accelerators and incubators, Ghana in recent years has become a noted sub regional hub for excellence in innovation. The Ghanaian technology and innovation ecosystem, led by a new generation of change-makers has received much international and local acclaim, making Ghana the ideal host country for IPA 2017.

Innovation in Ghana: A History
Ghana is no stranger to innovation, smart ways of achieving results and delivering value. The unique methods employed in weaving the Kente cloth, which has been used for centuries, Cocoa processing methods, and the unique architecture of the North are but a few examples of the sort of creative and critical thinking that has made the country and its traditions standout over the years.

The modern day story of Ghana is no different and in recent years, the Nation's innovation ecosystem has leapfrogged tremendously. Ghana has become a noted hub in the sub region for excellence in innovative advancements. The presence of world class accelerators and incubators for up and coming innovators is a great testament to this fact.
The Ecosystem
The innovation and technology landscape in Ghana is rich and full of amazing potential. Hubs such as the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), Africa Enterprise Hub, Innohub, Ghana Climate Innovation Centre, Ghana Centre for Entrepreneurship Employment and Innovation (GCEEI), iSpace, Impact Hub, Kumasi Hive, IHub, The Kumasi Business Incubator (KBI), Soronko Solutions, Social Enterprise Ghana and Africa 2.0 are but a few examples of the change-makers carving out the mould for the future of the Ghana through technology and innovation. On top of this, Ghana is the home of the most acclaimed Ashesi University known for its educational experience that fosters ethical leadership, an entrepreneurial mindset and the ability to solve complex problems.

A combination of efforts and passion from these change-makes has ensured that the Ghanaian technology and innovation ecosystem has received much international and local acclaim. Their collective objective to create platforms and opportunities to nourish and flourish the drivers of innovation in Ghana has laid the groundwork for the future.

Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation

The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), which forms part of the Ghanaian government machinery, was established in 1993 as the Ministry of Environment and Science. However, in 2013, the Ministry was renamed Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation. MESTI exists to promote sustainable development by deepening and strengthening market driven Research and Development (R&D) for sound Environmental Governance, Science, Technology and Innovation through intensive awareness creation, collaboration and partnership.

Ghana Investment Promotion Centre

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) is a Government agency, responsible under the GIPC Act, 2013 (Act 865): to encourage and promote investments in Ghana, to provide for the creation of an attractive incentive framework and a transparent, predictable and facilitating environment for investments in Ghana.

Ghana 60 Years On Planning Committee

The committee was inaugurated in 2017 to plan and coordinate all activities making Ghana's diamond jubilee. The IPA is being held within the framework of Ghana's anniversary celebrations and the committee has offered invaluable counsel and resources in the lead up to the event. The committee is chaired by Mr Ken Amankwah, a media and public relations consultant, and a former Deputy Director-General of the Ghana broadcasting Corporation. It has representatives from the Vice President's Office, Director of State Protocol, Chief of Protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chief Director at the Presidency, Director of Finance and Administration at the Presidency and Director of Budget at the Presidency. There are also representatives from key security services, the Ghana Education Service, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Arts. The committee recognizes the role innovation has played in the maturation of Ghana as a Nation over the past 60 years and has fully embraced the initiative as part of ongoing independence celebrations


Visa information

Citizens of the following 19 countries and territories can visit Ghana for 90 Days maximum: Benin, Burkina Faso, La Cote D'Ivoire, Togo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Gambia, Senegal, Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Mauritius, Guinea, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Singapore, Swaziland and Rwanda.
Entry requirements can change, so please contact your local Ghana embassy to verify this information is current.


We are pleased to inform you that Movenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra is our Hospitality partner and this is the IPA 2017 event venue. This 5 Star hotel set in an urban oasis within the city centre business district. The hotel is located only 7km from the airport with the Accra Financial Centre, the World Trade Centre, the International Conference Centre and Government Ministries on its doorstep.

Travel information

Accra is one of Africa's most innovative and exciting cities. With its rich cultural heritage, the local scene is bursting with music, dance, food and art. If you are loooking for places to visit in Accra, Time Out is the ultimate insider's guide for inspiring you with all that's new and best in this vibrant city.

Learn more at

Movenpick Ambassador Hotel


Movenpick Ambassador Hotel

Location: Independence Ave, Accra, Ghana

Booking Link:

Visit Website

Other Hotels

We have secured preferential rates in the hotels below for all IPA participants.


The IPA 2017 event and its associated AIF African Innovation Connector will take place on 17th and 18th July 2017. The Awards ceremony is planned for the evening of July 18th from 7pm. You should plan arriving on July 16th if you plan to attend both the Innovation Ecosytems Connector activities and Awards ceremony. For the Awards ceremony attire, we recommend traditional/African or business/evening cocktail attire.

High level Roundtable

Zuahub Workshop

Agriculture & Innovation Workshop

Women Innovator & Entrepreneur Workshop



17th July 2017

17th July 2017

18th July 2017

17th & 18th July 2017

11:30am - 1:00pm

4.00pm - 6.00pm

9.00pm - 4.00pm

2.00pm - 4.00pm (Day 1)
9.00am - 4.00pm (Day 2)

Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra

Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra

Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra

Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra


I have read with keen interest the African Innovation Foundation's IPA journey during the last 5 years, seeking excellence and ingenuity in African innovators and inventors. Your ability to build and drive a brand around mobilising African innovators and entrepreneurs, who deliver market oriented solutions to African challenges and supporting them through your processes is unique and most relevant now than ever for our continent. I would like to emphasise that the future of Africa, as a continent, lies within our ability to be self-sustained in products and services, as well as in maintaining a steady growth of world class entrepreneurs in the Science Technology and Innovation space.

HE Lt. Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama
President of Republic of Botswana; IPA 2016 Awards ceremony, Gaborone

Our Social Media

As it celebrates its 6th year milestone with the theme, "African Innovation: Investing in Prosperity", IPA 2017 promises to provide an unprecedented platform for African innovators and innovation enablers to network, share knowledge, explore business opportunities and boost collaboration.

Here are the voices of our valuable partners and country hosts who have travelled with us along our journey of rewarding African ingenuity.

Key spokespeople



Oliver Boachie

Special Assistant to the MESTI

Mr. Oliver Boachie is a professional Software Engineer and Telecommunications Specialist, with more than twenty-five (25) years' experience in the design and implementation of software for communication systems and networks, IT Project Management and ICT Consultancy.

Oliver Boachie is currently the Special Assistant to the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation for the Republic of Ghana. Until his recent appointment, he was the Managing Director and Chief Technical Officer for NTS Telecom Ltd., a Ghanaian registered company based in Accra. Since the year 2000, NTS has designed, constructed and supported a variety of networks for many companies and institutions in Ghana. Among them are Ghana Telecom (now Vodafone), Ghana Highway Authority and SSNIT. Mr. Boachie has also provided project management and consultancy services for institutions such as SSNIT, SIMNET Ghana Limited and Express Life Insurance company (now Prudential Life).

Before setting up NTS Telecom in the year 2000, Mr. Boachie was the Managing Director of Data Telecom Ltd. (DATATEL), a Joint-Venture company set up in partnership with Ghana Telecom Company, then the monopoly provider of voice communications services in Ghana. DATATEL was set up to provide data services to complement the services of Ghana Telecom, and was the first to provide online access data services such as ATM connectivity for banks, Wide Area Network services via Microwave and Satellite communications for banks, AND remote data access services for various institutions. Among the clients of DATATEL were Ghana Telecom, Shell Ghana Limited, Mobil Ghana Limited, ELF, Barclays Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, SSB Bank and SSNIT. Earlier in his career and prior to his migration back to Ghana, Mr. Boachie worked with global IT companies in the United States of America, including Texas Instruments in Dallas, Texas and IBM Corporation in Boca Raton, Florida and in Research Triangle Park (RTP), Raleigh, North Carolina. He specialized in the design and implementation of software for communication systems in applications areas such as the telecom, banking and retail sectors.

Mr. Boachie graduated from the University of Texas (Dallas) with a degree in Physics and Computer Science in 1980, and a post-graduate diploma in

Mr. Boachie is married with two (2) children. He attended Prempeh College in Kumasi from 1966 - 1973 and KNUST from 1973-77, before proceeding to the United States under a Rotary Foundation Scholarship to study Computer Science at the University of Miami in Florida.

Yofi Grant

Chief Executive Officer - GIPC

Yofi Grant is a renowned Ghanaian investment banker with over 30 years of extensive work experience in banking and finance. Having served in various capacities in corporate finance, credits, marketing, and investment banking, Mr. Grant has broad knowledge and exposure in the African financial markets and has cultivated strong relationships with international private equity funds, portfolio investment managers and brokerage funds. He was responsible for the development and implementation of AAF SME Fund LLC, one of the largest agriculture funds in Sub-Saharan Africa, and helped them achieve their first close of US$30million.

Yofi is a council member of the Continental Business Network of the African Union which advises African governments on private sector finance and infrastructure and has served in many directorship roles in the following subsidiaries of the Databank Group. Databank Agrifund Manager Limited, Databank Financial Services Limited and Databank Brokerage Services Limited. In 2009, he was the Executive Director for Business Development for the entire Databank Group. Mr. Grant was a consultant on finance and business for the Africa Asia Business Forum (AABF) organized by the UNDP which run workshops in 12 African countries and six Asian countries in 2002.

He is partner and co-founder to a number of companies including Grant Dupuis Investment Limited, an investment advisory firm and Coldwell Banker Ghana a company which holds the master franchise license for Coldwell Banker (of the Realogy Group in New Jersey, USA, the world's largest real estate organization) for Ghana and Nigeria. In addition to this, he recently co-founded Praxis Fortune Calibre, a firm that offers general business and investment advisory and consulting services across the continent.

He holds several supervisory board mandates in private sector companies in the telecommunications, commodities, and education sectors and has also played many policy advisory roles for government, particularly in private sector development. He was chairman of Ghana Telecom (One Touch), the Listing Committee of the Ghana Stock Exchange, and Venture Capital Association of Africa amongst other prestigious organizations.

Mr. Grant was also Special Advisor to the Minister for Private Sector Development between 2002 and 2006 where he advised and assisted the Minister with policy formulation and implementation and also on financing for private sector development projects. As the CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, it is Yofi's singular vision to make Ghana the 'Best place to do business in Africa'. He lives by the guiding principle of honesty, integrity and hard work. He also believes that everything is achievable and that it is only a question of faith in God, will, desire and focus.

Walter Fust |

Chairman of the Foundation Board

Ambassador Walter Fust is Chairman of the Board for the African Innovation Foundation, providing strategic guidance to the Foundation's mandate. After studying Public Administration at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, he commenced his diplomatic career, serving Swiss embassies in Baghdad and Tokyo.

He subsequently assumed various functions in the Federal Administration and in the private sector, including the role of Personal Assistant to Federal Councilor Dr. Kurt Furgler, Minister of Economy and President of the Swiss Confederation. W. Fust then became Managing Director of the Swiss Trade Promotion Office (OSEC) and Secretary General of the Ministry of Interior. He headed the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for 15 years.

Since his retirement, Amb. Fust holds mandates in the Broadband Commission for Digital Development (ITU/UNESCO) and the UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA). He chairs the Global Crop Diversity Trust (Bonn) and serves on the boards of the Coalition for Dialog on Africa/CoDA,the Library of Alexandria, CATIE, the American University for tropical agriculture and forestry in Costa Rica, and different national Foundations.

Amb. Fust is a well-known and a widely-connected personality in international development, with particular knowledge and expertise in trade, development and humanitarian affairs.

Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais |

Founding Board Member

Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and philanthropist with a deep interest in African socio-economic development. In 2003, Mr. Bastos de Morais founded Quantum Global Group (QGG) an international group of companies focused on African development, particularly in the fields of corporate finance advisory, asset and private wealth management, real estate and investment consulting.

As the Chairman of the QGG Advisory Board, he provides instrumental expertise on financial markets, especially across Africa and other emerging markets. More recently in 2014, he established Quantum Global Research Lab, which aims to provide bottom up econometric models for inclusive development in Africa. In 2008, Mr. Bastos de Morais founded Banco Kwanza Invest, Angola's first investment bank. As a Member of Board, he advises on the bank's strategic direction.

At the core of his philanthropic work is the African Innovation Foundation (AIF), an organization he founded in 2009 to drive African-led development through fostering innovation. Key programs of the AIF include the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), the African Law Library (ALL) and the Social Impact Program for Angola (SIPA).

The AIF initiated and implements the annual IPA which was launched in 2011 in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). In 2012, the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) passed a resolution to promote an innovation-based society in Africa.

Mr. Bastos de Morais is on the advisory board of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) and the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business. He is also a member of the international Board of Foundation for, a leading global network that advocates ethical corporate and social practices.

He began his career as a management consultant and holds a Master of Arts in Management from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland.

Alan Boshwaen |

Chief Executive Officer
(Botswana Innovation Hub)

Alan Boshwaen is Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH). BIH is a state-owned company with a mandate to develop and operate Botswana's first Science and Technology Park. This facility will promote and facilitate research, development, education and innovation activities, as well as support start-ups and existing companies to grow. BIH attracts companies, universities, research institutes and advanced training institutions to develop in the Botswana Innovation Hub, and also seeks to establish strategic joint ventures and collaborations.

Alan has extensive experience in both financial services and the banking sector, and was former CEO of the Botswana International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). He held senior management positions with Standard Chartered Bank Botswana and Barclays Bank of Botswana. Alan has also worked for Debswana (De Beers Botswana) Diamond Mining Company. He holds BA Honors in Industrial Psychology and Business Administration from the University of Kent at Canterbury and a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Cape Town. He is a non-executive Board Member of the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the University Of Botswana School Of Business.

Budzanani Tacheba |

Director of Cluster Development
(Botswana Innovation Hub)

Budzanani was a research fellow at the University of Botswana where has worked in different research projects. He worked as Regional Coordinator for a geo-spatial data project under SADC and as Acting Coordinator in the Botswana Innovation Hub project office where he facilitated the establishment of BIH as a private company. Budzanani has served as Board Member in the Medical Education Partnership Initiative and currently serves on the Botswana Geoscience Institute Board.


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Why IPA 2017 needs you!

IPA has been creating an innovation movement across the continent, with a contact base of 7500+ innovators from 52 African countries, engaged partners and colleagues from both the private and public sectors, and a focus on young people and women. As a potential sponsor/partner, you can gain substantial benefits from being associated with IPA 2017.

Due to the high visibility and exposure generated at the event, as well as related media coverage, we believe this is a great opportunity for any partners and/or sponsors to work jointly with us to innovate Africa's future. Besides this, you have the opportunity to contribute to Africa's prosperity! Our stories boast success across the continent, and can be replicated for sustainable development, the best way to achieve inclusive economic growth for all Africans.
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It is with excitement and enthusiasm that we invite you to participate as a sponsor and/ or partner in the next IPA event to be held on 17-18 July 2017 in Accra. We have tailored a selection of marketing and sponsorship opportunities to increase exposure and add value to your organization. Your participation as a sponsor/partner will visibly demonstrate your organization's commitment towards driving innovation and contributing to Africa's growth story. Come and join us on this exciting journey to mobilize the leaders of tomorrow to ignite the African innovation dream and celebrate African ingenuity!

Due to the Pan-African component of this event, marketing, networking & partnership opportunities are immense!

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