AfDB-NIW’s High 5s Startup Challenge: Improving the Quality of Life for the People of Africa

Deadline: 23 February 2018

The Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and the Nairobi Innovation Week (NIW) have partnered to run a joint innovation challenge that focuses on the Bank’s High 5 priorities; Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.

Priorities Area

  • Light up and power Africa: The AfDB is working to unify efforts to achieve universal access to energy. Its new Energy Strategy aims to increase energy production and access, and improve affordability, reliability and energy efficiency.
  • Feed Africa: The Bank is framing its agricultural operations within a business-oriented approach, based on a deeper understanding of the obstacles, potential and investment opportunities.
  • Industrialize Africa: Over the next 10 years, the Bank will invest US $3.5 billion per year through direct financing and leveraging to implement six flagship industrialization programmes in areas where the AfDB can best leverage its experience, capabilities and finances.
  • Integrate Africa: Through its Regional Integration Policy and Strategy, the Bank is focusing its integration efforts not just on movement of goods and services but also on mobility of people and investment.
  • Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa: The Bank is committed to building up the availability of technical skills so that African economies can realize their full potential in high-technology sectors. the Bank will nearly triple its annual climate financing to reach $5 billion a year by 2020.


  • For the top 5
    • Travel costs to attend the NIW 2018 (a roundtrip economy class ticket and accommodation if coming from outside Kenya.
    • An award of USD 1000 to support the innovation.
    • A placard in recognition of the innovation.
    • Opportunity to exhibit the innovation at the NIW2018.
    • Opportunity to meet and interact with the Director General AfDB, East Africa Regional Development and business-orientedness Delivery Office.
  • For the top 50
    • Be featured in the AfDB-NIW Special Edition Innovation Journal that will be a compendium of promising innovations from the region
    • Have your profile displayed on the NIW.Startups, a platform for recognizing promising startups in the region

Eligibility Criteria

  • Interested Innovators should;
    • Be over 18 years
    • Submit a complete and eligible application
    • Have a product or service that already has users or customers
    • Have some market traction
    • Have a clear business and operational model
    • Have an existing team in the start-up
    • Demonstrate impact
    • Demonstrate evidence of sustainability
    • Illustrate how their innovation addresses gender equality
  • Have an innovation addressing one of the AfDB High 5 priorities, namely:
    • Be from the countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia
    • Have an innovation addressing one of the AfDB High 5 pillars, namely:
    • Light up and power Africa
    • Feed Africa
    • Industrialize Africa
    • Integrate Africa
    • Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa

How to Apply

Applicants can apply online via given website.

Eligible Countries: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia

For more information, please visit High 5s Startup Challenge.

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