The 2nd Edition of the Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa is Now Open for Applications: Apply!

Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa Call for Applications Technology-powered solutions to achieve zero hunger for all.

Application Deadline: 8 February 2024 11:59 pm (CEST)

The Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa has been initiated by the Austrian Federal Chancellery, in collaboration with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Innovation Accelerator, the Austrian Development Agency and the Kofi Annan Foundation. The Award aims to identify and support promising social entrepreneurs with digital or technology-powered solutions for people in Africa to help them build the foundations to scale. 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.

In a world marked by complexity and challenges, it is clear that we need innovative, collaborative
and sustainable solutions to address pressing issues. Food security is a paramount concern, and it is especially critical in the African continent. According to FAO, over 828 million people worldwide suffered from undernourishment in 2022, and Africa bears a significant burden, with 118 million of its population facing this challenge. Climate change exacerbates these issues, acting as a driving force behind the challenges to food security. This edition of the Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa aims to address this issue directly by focusing on identifying and supporting innovations working towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2): Zero Hunger, emphasizing Africa, marginalized groups, displaced farmers, and circular principles. In the pursuit of food security, it is essential to integrate climate-resilient strategies to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change on global food security.

Africa, celebrated for its rich diversity and natural beauty, grapples with persistent food insecurity. According to the United Nations (UN), approximately 24% of sub-Saharan Africa’s population faces chronic food insecurity. Behind each statistic is an individual facing the difficult reality of hunger and their own unfulfilled potential, as well as the opportunity cost of human capital development across the continent.

Africa holds vast untapped potential in agriculture, yet gender disparities persist and present a
formidable challenge. Women are at the heart of agriculture in Africa, often serving as the
backbone of rural communities. Still, they face significant barriers to access land, resources, and
education. Addressing these gender disparities is an ethical and strategic imperative for food
security. When women in agriculture thrive, their communities prosper alongside them.
Moreover, marginalized groups, such as people with disabilities, refugees and internally
displaced persons, are also disproportionately affected by hunger. The issue of displaced
farmers and marginalized groups has emerged in recent years as a critical concern, as forced
conflict, climate change and economic instability have led to a rise in forced displacement. These
individuals often find themselves in precarious conditions, far from the lands they once tilled
and the communities they once sustained. Supporting displaced farmers and marginalized
groups is necessary to rebuild communities and ensure future food security. Circular principles offer a beacon of hope in this complex landscape. Adopting circular practices in agriculture can enhance resource efficiency, reduce waste and mitigate environmental impacts. Furthermore, as climate change intensifies, incorporating circular principles becomes imperative to build resilience and adaptability in agricultural systems, addressing the escalating challenges posed by shifting weather patterns and environmental degradation. A circular economy is not merely a concept but a tangible pathway to sustainable food production that preserves our planet’s resources for generations to come.
Together, let us accelerate change, strengthen food security, empower women, support displaced farmers, and promote circular agricultural principles in Africa. Join us in this mission to
create a more sustainable, equitable, and nourished future for all.

Application Deadline: 8 February 2024 11:59 pm (CEST)

The WFP Innovation Accelerator, together with the Federal Chancellery of Austria (BKA), the
Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the Kofi Annan Foundation (KAF), wish to support
innovative solutions that address the urgent food security needs of people across Africa. The
programme offers:
● Acceleration Bootcamp: Nine (9) promising teams will participate in a fully virtual WFP
Innovation Bootcamp. During this bootcamp, participants will have valuable opportunities
to collaborate with technical and industry mentors who will provide expert guidance to
refine further and develop their innovative solutions.
● Funding opportunities: Ventures that successfully progress to the bootcamp stage will
gain the eligibility to apply for equity-free funding, with the possibility of receiving
financial support of up to EUR 250,000 per innovation for a total of three awards.
● Sprint programme: The three ventures selected to receive EUR 250,000 in equity-free
funding will also be welcomed into a WFP Sprint Programme. This 12-month acceleration
program grants access to mentorship, a global network of influential partners, and
resources designed to expedite their growth and impact.
● Network of innovators: All nine ventures, regardless of funding outcomes, will have the
opportunity to harness and leverage a robust network of pertinent businesses, investors,
and mentors, enhancing their potential for long-term success and sustainability.

For more opportunities such as this please follow us on FacebookInstagramWhatsApp, TwitterLinkedIn and Telegram

The 2023 Kofi Annan Award seeks to support technology-powered solutions and approaches
that are helping to improve food security and systems in African countries.
We welcome applications from social entrepreneurs with digital or technology-powered
solutions for people in Africa who are addressing one or more of the following priority topics:

  1. Inclusion of Marginalized Groups in Food Security
    Ensuring the participation and benefit of marginalized and underserved groups, such as
    persons with disabilities, internally displaced persons, and other disadvantaged
    Innovation Focus: Exploring technology-driven solutions that promote equitable access
    to food resources and empower marginalized groups to actively engage in food
    production, distribution, and decision-making processes, such as accessible farming tools
    and digital market access for displaced farmers.
  2. EnhancedNutrition for women (pregnant and lactating)
    Advancing nutritional well-being for women, with a specific emphasis on pregnant and
    lactating women, children under five years of age, and the elderly.
    Innovation Focus: Identifying technological solutions that address nutritional
    deficiencies in these target groups through innovative approaches, such as digital tools
    for personalized dietary guidance, nutrient-rich food production, and nutritional
  3. Circular solutions and reduction of post-harvest losses
    Encouraging the adoption of circular business models in the agriculture and food sectors
    with a special emphasis on creating cost-effective and sustainable food preservation
    technologies. These technologies should minimize post-harvest losses and address food
    wastage in urban and rural areas, providing tangible benefits to women farmers and
    other marginalized communities. As climate change intensifies, the vulnerability of
    agricultural supply chains to extreme weather events and unpredictable conditions
    becomes more pronounced, making the implementation of circular solutions a strategic
    response to enhance resilience and adaptability in the food sector.
    Innovation Focus: Developing innovative and scalable solutions that specifically target
    the challenges of managing food surplus, redistributing excess food, recovering valuable
    resources, and preservation, particularly in the context of climate change. In addition,
    these innovations should empower women farmers and marginalized groups with
    knowledge and skills to reduce post-harvest losses. This can be achieved through various
    means such as training programs, educational mobile apps for agriculture, or
    community-based extension services tailored to their needs and circumstances.

Eligibility Criteria

● Your venture must be a for-profit legal entity and incorporated for at least two years at the time of application.

● Yoursolution is anchored in at least one African country.

● The applicant must have existing contacts/presence

Application Process

  1. To submit your application, please complete the Application Form before 8 February
    2024 at 11:59 pm (CET).
  2. If you know a relevant venture or solution for us to consider for this programme,
    please let us know by filling out our Referral Submission Form.
  3. We will review and select successful applications to participate in a fully virtual WFP
    Innovation Bootcamp in February 2024. While we value all applications, we are only
    able to contact shortlisted applicants.
  4. Interested, but don’t feel your idea is ready yet? Don’t let this stop you! You can still
    send your application, as we are creating a pool of solutions with a focus on
    climate-resilient agriculture. This pool of solutions could be invited for future
  5. Atleast one of the team members must be fluent in English. Please note the entire
    programme is delivered in English.
  6. For moreinformation, see the Frequently Asked Questions.
    Data Protection
    No part of the information provided during the application will be made public nor used for any
    other purposes outside the Kofi Annan Award without the consent of the applicants.

About the WFPInnovation Accelerator
The WFP Innovation Accelerator was launched by the UN World Food Programme in 2015 to
source new ideas, sprint pilot projects, and scale high-impact innovations by connecting them with WFP’s global network of more than 23,000 staff and field operations in over 120 countries and territories. From its base in Munich, Germany, the WFP Innovation Accelerator has grown to become one of the world’s leading social impact start up accelerators.

Each year, it offers 15 programmes addressing a wide range of social impact and sustainability issues, including climate change, primary healthcare, gender equality, and emergency response. In 2022 alone, its portfolio of over 150 innovations reached 37 million people worldwide, with a 2X growth rate
every year since its launch, and secured over $200 million in grants.

Apply Here!

Visit the Official Webpage of the Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa Here!

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