Young African entrepreneurs will receive the UNECA Africa Youth SDG Innovation Award in 2023, which will be fully funded by the Lusaka, Zambia, African Youth SDG Summit.

June 11, 2023 is the application deadline. | UNECA Africa Youth SDG Innovation Award in 2023

The African Youth SDG Summit and AfriLabs are collaborating with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) through its Subregional office for Southern Africa (SRO-SA) to highlight the innovation potential of young African entrepreneurs. The award seeks to recognize and honor exceptional young entrepreneurial efforts that have successfully created an innovation to address a particular development issue for businesses, governments, households, and communities, as well as having an impact on the accomplishment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Who is eligible for the Africa Youth SDG Innovation Award?

Any person of African descent who, as of December 31, 2022, was between the ages of 18 and 35 and had created an innovative product or a creative technique to address a particular social development issue, and who has done so with a clear impact on the SDGs. The innovation might already be commercialized or is just getting ready to do so.
The inventive technique or product must be first-generation and have been created no earlier than December 31, 2016.


  • The African Youth SDG Summit will be held in Lusaka, Zambia in August 2023, and the six winners will be asked to showcase their invention there. Additional details regarding the African Youth SDG Summit. ECA will be responsible for covering all travel-related expenses.
  • The winners will also be given the opportunity to attend a training session on innovation that ECA SROSA will arrange for small and medium-sized businesses in 2023–2024 in person. ECA will cover the costs associated with in-person attendance.
  • The costs of their travel and attendance to the Africa Tech Festival in Cape Town, South Africa, from November 14–16, 2023, will also be covered by ECA SRO-SA.

Application Method

By June 11, 2023, applicants must submit their entries online at with a pitch deck of up to 15 PPT slides and an accompanying narrative of no more than 1500 words detailing their creative solution. French or English can be used for submissions.

The scope of both the pitch deck and the narrative should be the same, and both should contain the following details:

  • a succinct description of the development issue that the innovation seeks to solve
  • A concise explanation of the creative solution
  • An explanation of the novel aspects of the solution
  • a discussion of the beneficial effects of the novel approach on society and the accomplishment of the SDGs. The pertinent SDGs ought to be emphasized.
  • An explanation of the innovation’s conception, design, implementation, and, if appropriate, commercialization processes, as well as who was involved (explain your team members).
  • Challenges that were faced during the invention’s development and commercialization, and how they were overcome
  • An overview of the innovation’s potential for scalability and the business strategy that can be used to commercialize it
  • The stage of the business’ development (concept, Minimum Viable Product MVP, established business, gaining traction, etc.), along with, if practical, pertinent data (such as Monthly Active Users, Monthly Recurring Revenues, and other figures as appropriate).
  • What are your future plans? Please describe how you envision the market for your idea developing.
  • Other details you consider important to provide (such as difficulties in patenting innovations, etc.)

For Additional Information

Visit the 2023 Africa Youth SDG Innovation Award’s official website.


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