2 May 2013 – Ten African innovators have developed practical solutions to some of the continent’s most intractable problems. Chosen from more than 900 applications from 45 countries, the finalists for the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2013 provide practical examples of Africa’s investment potential.  

One of the finalists is a zero blade wind convertor developed in Tunisia. Hassine Labaied and Anis Aouini from Saphon Energy, a Tunisian R&D start up, developed a wind turbine with no blades and which does not rotate. It uses sailboat technology to create cost-effective energy through a back-and-forth three dimensional motion.

The winners of the IPA 2013 will be announced at a gala dinner on 7th May in Cape Town, South Africa hosted by the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business and the Sekunjalo Development Foundation. The winner will receive US$100,000 for the best innovation based on marketability, originality, scalability, social impact and clear business potential. A runner up will receive US$25,000 for the best commercial potential and another finalist will receive US$25,000 as a special prize for social innovation.   

Another energy related finalist was the mimosa for solar powered production innovation out of Nigeria. Justus Nwaoga developed a new way to collect renewable solar energy by using the mimosa pudica weed, an organic African medicinal plant.

The prize encourages Africans to develop creative ways to overcome everyday challenges.  
The IPA selection committee represents private equity investors, seed funders, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and development leaders who are looking for ideas that move Africa forward.  

The call for applications for IPA 2014 will be announced in July 2013.