The 2023 UNECA Africa Youth SDG Innovation Award for Young African Entrepreneurs

The 2023 UNECA Africa Youth SDG Innovation Award for Young African Entrepreneurs

The 2023 UNECA Africa Youth SDG Innovation Award for Young African Entrepreneurs

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), through its Subregional Office for Southern Africa (SRO-SA), is associating with the African Youth SDG Summit and AfriLabs to display the innovation potential of young African entrepreneurs. The award is a prestigious annual award for young African entrepreneurs that works tirelessly towards fulfilling Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa. This competition offers a medium for young African entrepreneurs to display their innovations and solutions. The award also honors their initiatives which can create a positive contribution to African development. The 2023 UNECA Africa Youth SDG Innovation Award for Young African Entrepreneurs

The award would be presented to the innovator or initiative which gives solutions in areas such as food security, access to clean water, renewable energy, education, healthcare, and economic development. The innovation or initiative should benefit the African continent as a whole, precisely the poorest and most vulnerable communities. The initiative should be innovative, commercially viable, and have the potential to scale up and perform again.

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Eligibility Conditions for the 2023 UNECA Africa Youth SDG Innovation Award

The Africa Youth SDG Innovation Award is available to:

  • Any individual of African nationality
  • Between the age of 18 to 35 as of 31st December 2022
  • Aho has designed an innovative product or designed an innovative process to resolve a specific development problem for society and with a demonstrated impact on the achievement of the SDGs. The innovation may have been commercialized or is about to be commercialized.
  • The innovative product or innovative process must be original and must have been developed no earlier than 31st December 2016.


  • The 6 winners will be requested to present their innovation at the African Youth SDG Summit that will be held in Lusaka, Zambia in August 2023. All costs in relation to the travel will be paid by ECA.
  • The winners will also be requested to partake in person one training on innovation that ECA SROSA will organize for small and medium-sized enterprises during 2023-2024. Costs of in-person participation will be borne by ECA.
  • ECA SRO-SA will also sponsor the costs of their travel and participation in the Africa Tech Festival in Cape Town, South Africa, November 14-16, 2023.

Procedure for Application

Applicants should submit a pitch deck of 15 slides in PPT, and a simultaneous narrative in Word of no more than 1500 words summarizing their innovative solution, by June 11,  2023, at the following website: can be in English or French.

The pitch deck and the narrative should cover the same scope, and include the following information:

  1. A brief overview of the development problem the innovation addresses
  2. A clear description of the innovative solution
  3. An explanation as to why the solution is innovative
  4. A discussion on how the innovative solution impacts positively society and on the achievement of the SDGs. The relevant SDGs should be highlighted.
  5. An explanation of how the innovation was conceived, designed, applied, and if applicable, commercialized (your innovation journey) and who was involved (describe your team members)
  6. Challenges encountered in developing and commercializing the innovation and how challenges were overcome
  7. A summary of the business model that can be used to commercialize the innovation and potential for scalability
  8. The stage of the development of the business (idea / Minimum Viable Product MVP/ established business/gaining traction / etc) including relevant figures wherever feasible (Monthly Active Users, Monthly Recurring Revenues, and others as relevant)
  9. How do you see the market for your innovation evolving and what are your future plans?
  10. Other information you deem pertinent to include (e.g. challenges for getting innovation patented etc)

Application Deadline: June 11th, 2023



The 2023 UNECA Africa Youth SDG Innovation Award for Young African Entrepreneurs

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