Africa Innovation Summit II – Call for Application Launched across Africa for Innovations Addressing Continent’s Challenges

Africa Innovation Summit II – Call for Application Launched across Africa for Innovations Addressing Continent’s Challenges

KIGALI, Rwanda, March 13, 2018/ — The Africa Innovation Summit (AIS II), which will take place from 6-8 June 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda, under the esteemed patronage of His Excellences President Paul Kagame and Pedro Pires (ex-President of Cabo Verde), announced a call for applications to innovators across Africa whose solutions have the potential to solve the continent’s challenges.

The AIS II seeks innovative and disruptive solutions to the major challenges facing African countries, which include energy access, water, food insecurity, health systems, and governance. As a platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue and actions, AIS II will bring together people with the power to act, from all parts of the continent and elsewhere, including Heads of States and Governments, Ministers, corporates, innovators, investors, policy makers and academics, researchers, as well as policy, science and technology experts, with the aim of building robust ecosystems for innovation in Africa to ensure Africa’s structural transformation.

Dr. Olugbenga Adesida, co-Director of AIS, indicated that “AIS provides more than a robust and dynamic platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue, but rather a catalyst for “Made in Africa” innovations that are already addressing the challenges faced on the continent, but need assistance to take root and scale across the continent.”

The AIS has partnered with Enterpriseroom, a transformation consultancy specializing in starting, sustaining, and accelerating businesses, to drive the sourcing and selection of up to 50 Innovations across the continent, to be showcased at the Summit. The CEO of Entepriseroom, Tracey Webster, said “We are delighted to partner with the AIS and believe the innovations selected to be showcased at the Summit will have a unique opportunity to engage the right stakeholders when it comes to discussing and unlocking blockages in the eco-system that are preventing solutions from going to scale, or ideas being commercialized.” AIS firmly believes that the solutions are in Africa and innovators need to be at the table architecting a conducive environment for Innovation to thrive in Africa.

AIS is therefore calling all African innovators to apply for this unique opportunity. The innovators selected must meet the following criteria:

  • Know or have an innovative idea or solution that can drive positive change in Africa and;
  • The solution must be at a critical stage: either ready to commercialize or ready to scale.

The identified innovators will meet influential people, policy makers, and investors who are ready to discuss Africa’s development challenges and ways to solve them. They will also have the opportunity to interact with like-minded African innovators and change agents who are driving a new era of change in Africa.

Applications and additional information can be found on the AIS website: https://goo.gl/gYCCyq

Applications close Friday, 30 March 2018.

Education and Africa: Twin Priorities of UNESCO Director-General at Education Funding Conference in Dakar

Education and Africa: Twin Priorities of UNESCO Director-General at Education Funding Conference in Dakar

PARIS, France, February 1, 2018/ — The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay is in Senegal from 1 to 3 February on the occasion of the Financing Conference of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) taking place in Dakar. It is the first visit to Africa of the Director-General illustrating the priority of the education sector and the cross cutting priority given to the African continent.

UNESCO is the United Nations agency in charge of coordinating efforts worldwide to provide universal quality education by 2030 of which the Global Partnership for Education is an integral part.

The President of Senegal, Macky Sall, and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, are co-chairing the Dakar conference whose objective is to raise funds to support education. It is bringing together Heads of State, ministers, leaders of UN agencies and civil society organizations, as well as representatives of the private sector and over 1,000 education stakeholders.

“Education must become the priority in development aid. We are here to mobilize more aid, support national efforts, and make education a shared responsibility,” said Ms Azoulay.

According to UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report, aid to education worldwide has declined by 4% since 2010. Education aid to sub-Saharan Africa, home to half of the world’s out-of-school children, has declined by 50% from 2002 to 2015. It is estimated that $39 billion will be required annually to achieve universal education from early childhood to the secondary level in low and middle-income countries.

The Director-General is advocating for education as un unequalled force for change to build more equitable and inclusive societies. She will highlight the need for partnerships to provide States with the tools and know-how needed to develop quality educational systems. UNESCO alone disposes of the statistic, standard-setting and strategic instruments required to meet the specific needs of each country.

Ms Azoulay will address the conference on the morning of 2 February (9.30 am) and again during the afternoon session (2 to 4 pm) in the presence of Heads of State. She will also hold bilateral talks with Heads of State, government ministers and UN agency leaders in the course of the two-day event.

The Director-General is also visiting Pikine, the second largest city in Senegal, where UNESCO is contributing to the empowerment of vulnerable groups, notably girls and women, through several programmes concerning, for example, literacy and sustainable urban development.

On 3 February, the Director-General will visit the Island of Saint-Louis, inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2000, along with the Presidents of Senegal and France. The visit will take place in the framework of a joint project involving UNESCO, the World Bank and France to contain coastal erosion, which is threatening cultural and natural heritage.