Wednesday, January 20, 2016

IPA heads to Botswana with ‘Made in Africa’ spirit 2016

The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) is collaborating with the Government of Botswana (GoB) to host the 2016 ‘Made in Africa’ spirit in Gaborone, Botswana, reports ITRealms.

The Government of Botswana, ITRealms gathered is represented by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology and the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) that the next Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) event to be held in Gaborone, Botswana in June 2016. 

ITRealms reports that the decision to host IPA in Botswana received the highest endorsement from President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama of Botswana.

IPA is a landmark programme of the AIF, whose purpose is to increase the prosperity of Africans by catalyzing the innovation spirit in Africa. IPA celebrates its 5 year milestone in helping to shape the innovation landscape in Africa.

IPA claims till date to have attracted over 6,000 innovators from 50 African countries, making it a truly Pan-African initiative. 

This year’s event with its “Made in Africa” theme promises to be ground-breaking, extending beyond the Awards ceremony. AIF is offering several avenues of opportunity for local, national, regional and international growth and exposure to Africa’s next cadre of innovators. The event will provide an unprecedented platform for African innovators and innovation enablers to network, share knowledge, explore business opportunities and boost collaboration.

Botswana’s selection as host country for IPA 2016 is seen in its commitment towards building its national innovation ecosystem. This is demonstrated by the GoB’s catalytic role in capitalizing on and supporting the knowledge economy through the development of a 57-acre Science Park, dubbed the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH). 

The Icon Building in the BIH Park will be launched in September 2016, as Botswana celebrates yet another milestone - 50 years of Independence. “Hosting IPA 2016 and celebrating African ingenuity in Gaborone will afford Botswana an opportunity to showcase its commitment to putting innovation at the center of its development strategy,” says the Botswana Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Honorable Nonofo Molefhi. 

“We are greatly honored to have been selected to host IPA 2016 and look forward to showcasing the positive strides Botswana and indeed Africa is making in the innovation landscape,” he said.

IPA is today recognized as Africa’s leading innovation initiative based on its track record since its inaugural launch with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the endorsement by Ministers attending the Africa Union (AU)/ECA conference in 2012. 

IPA recognizes, rewards and mobilizes for African innovators through promoting home-grown, market-driven solutions addressing intractable challenges in agriculture, health and well-being, manufacturing and service industry, ICTs and environment, energy and water. 

IPA has been successfully celebrated in African major capitals representing African regions: Addis Ababa (2011), Cape Town (2013), Abuja (2014), and more recently in Skhirat, Morocco (2015).

Nenye Dom/GEE

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