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Africa-wide award promoting SDG innovation launched

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, president of Ghana and co-chair of the Group of Eminent Advocates for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recently launched a pan-African award for early stage social innovators in Africa who are solving pressing problems addressed in the UN SDGs.
L-R: Joe Mensah, CEO Kosmos Energy; Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, chief of staff at the Presidency of Ghana; Nana Addo Dangkwa Akufo-Addo, president of Ghana; Eugene Owusu, special advisor to the president on the SDGs; and Professor George Gyan-Baffour, minister for planning, Ghana, gather at the launch of Africa Innovates for the SDGs.
The award, titled Africa Innovates for the SDGs will put a spotlight on SDG innovators and raise awareness around their work. Open to innovators from all countries in Africa, Africa Innovates for the SDGs will recognise and award exceptional early-stage African innovation that solves key challenges linked to the sustainable development goals. Five winners will be awarded the grand prize and have their work showcased at an international level, helping them to expand their work.

Call for active participation

“On our continent today, great African minds have been solving problems in their communities and this award offers yet another platform to unearth, give recognition and the opportunity to take their innovations to scale for the benefit of the continent and to enhance prospects for achieving the SDGs. I call on the youth on the continent, the private sector, civil society organisations, community groups and all social innovators on the continent to actively participate in this timely initiative,” said Akufo-Addo.

Akufo-Addo, in his role as co-chair of the Group of Eminent Adovocates for the SDGs, has a mandate to support the secretary-general of the United Nations (UN) in his efforts to generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030 by working to promote the universal sustainable development agenda, raise awareness of the integrated nature of the SDGs, and foster the engagement of new stakeholders in the implementation of these goals. The SDGs Advisory Unit of the Office of the President of Ghana is the unit supporting the president in this role.

Unique, new, innovative solutions

Africa Innovates for the SDGs will accept applications for the award until 7 September 2018. To be eligible to win, applicants must be citizens of any African country or residents of any African country for a minimum of three consecutive years and must be 18 years of age or older. The award is seeking unique, new and innovative solutions that are clearly contributing to one or more of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The solutions must have already been tested or have proven impact and must have the potential to create meaningful impact on society, especially on a large number of people.

To apply for the competition, or to learn more, go to www.AfricaInnovates4sdgs.com. The award is being implemented by the non-profit organisation Reach for Change which has successfully run innovation competitions, accelerators and incubators in countries across Africa since 2012, promoting African innovation and entrepreneurship.
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