UNECA Africa Youth SDG Innovation Award 2023 | APPLY NOW

This informs the public about the UNECA Africa Youth SDG Innovation Award 2023 for young African Entrepreneurs. Details about the Program are given below.

About UNECA Africa Youth SDG Innovation Award 2023

Are you a young African entrepreneur who has developed an innovative solution with a demonstrated positive impact on the achievement of the SDGs on the continent? If yes, this call for applications is for YOU.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), through its Subregional Office for Southern Africa (SRO-SA), is partnering with the African Youth SDG Summit and AfriLabs to showcase the innovation potential of young African entrepreneurs.

Program Details 

The award aims to recognize and reward outstanding young entrepreneurial efforts, that have successfully developed an innovation to resolve a specific development problem for firms, governments, households, and communities and with an impact on the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


The 6 winners will be invited to present their innovation at the African Youth SDG Summit that will be held in Lusaka, Zambia in August 2023. Further information on the African Youth SDG Summit are available at: https://youthsdgssummit.org/. All costs in relation to the travel will be borne by ECA.

The winners will also be invited to participate in person in 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 to the Africa Tech Festival in Cape Town, South Africa, November 14-16, 2023.


The Africa Youth SDG Innovation Award is open to:

  • any individual of African nationality who was between the age of 18 to 35 as at 31st December 2022
  • who 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 eb commercialized.
  • The innovative product or innovative process must be original and must have been developed no earlier than 31st December 2016.

UNECA Africa Youth SDG Innovation Award 2023 Application

Applicants should submit a pitch deck of up to 15 slides in PPT, and an accompanying narrative in Word of no more than 1500 words outlining their innovative solution, by June 11,  2023, at the following website: https://youthsdgssummit.org/youth-sdg-innovation-awards/Submissions can be in either English or French.

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

  • A brief overview of the development problem the innovation addresses
  • A clear description of the innovative solution
  • An explanation as to why the solution is innovative
  • A discussion on how the innovative solution impacts positively on society and on the achievement of the SDGs. The relevant SDGs should be highlighted.
  • An explanation on how the innovation was conceived, designed, applied and if applicable, commercialized (your innovation journey) and who were involved (describe your team members)
  • Challenges encountered in developing and commercializing the innovation and how challenges were overcome
  • A summary of the business model that can be used to commercialize the innovation and potential for scalability
  • 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)
  • How do you see the market for your innovation evolving and what are your future plans.
  • Other information you deem pertinent to include (e.g. challenges for getting innovation patented etc)

Information to include when submitting your application

When submitting your application, please fill in the google form that contains your full name, your country of birth, your country of citizenship, your date of birth, physical address of your company, link for the website of your company (if available), your email address, your cell phone number, and the registration/licence number of your company if applicable. Please upload a copy of your passport, and proof of your business licence (if applicable) as requested on the Google form.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to showcase your innovative solution and make a difference in Africa! Submit your application today and stand a chance to win the Africa Youth SDG Innovation Award.

For those interested in UNECA Africa Youth SDG Innovation Award 2023. Open this link to start the application process.

Application Deadline

  • The deadline for receipt of applications is 14 June 2023. 

Open this link for more details about the UNECA Africa Youth SDG Innovation Award 2023.

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