The African Union (AU), through the African Governance Architecture (AGA) Secretariat, in a joint project with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) have launched the “Democracy and Governance in Africa – Youth Innovation Challenge”.
Youth innovators, innovation hubs, and incubation centers across the continent are invited to participate in the innovation challenge.
The challenge calls for existing innovations that are making an impact on the structural prevention of conflict through addressing issues of democracy deficit, lack of good governance, and contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights.
African innovators, innovation hubs/labs and organizations with a non-profit or for-profit background can apply based on the following selection criteria;
1.) The innovation should focus on Youth or innovation should be led by a young person aged between 18-35;
2.) Innovators, Innovations, innovation hubs should be based in Africa; African diaspora are open to apply but innovation in focus should be focused or based in Africa;
3.) The submission should be based on an existing innovation (digital or non-digital) on or contributing to the following thematic areas;
-Enhancing good governance;
-Creating social cohesion;
-Supporting public service;
-Justice and rule of law;
-Promoting and protection of human rights; and
-Other relevant thematic areas that contribute to the AU theme of the year – Silencing the Guns.
4.) The idea or innovation should have been implemented/tested with a level of success/ impact but have room for improvement, replication or scale-up at national, regional or continental level;
5.) Innovation must reflect the mainstreaming of women and gender equality;
6.) Female innovators are highly encouraged to apply.
The top twenty (20) innovations will be longlisted and only successful applicants with great innovations that have demonstrated exponential impact will be notified.
The review panel reserves the right to request additional details from applicants. A public announcement of the successful applicants will be made in 6 weeks upon the closing of the open call.
The 20 applicants will receive an opportunity for accelerator training to help develop their ideas further, for expansion and greater impact. Experienced trainers and experts will be supporting the ideas to refine, improve, and transform them into initiatives that will be magnified, replicated or scaled up.
The jury will also screen and shortlist final innovations based on the ideas developed during the accelerator training and select final innovation/s to be awarded.
The innovation/s will have a number of opportunities to be acknowledged namely on the African Union Commission’s initiatives on the theme of the year; AGA Annual dialogues, COMESA policy-making bodies and others.