Win up to £25,000 for Sub-Saharan African Engineering Innovators in the Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 2021

Sign up for Africa’s biggest prize dedicated to engineering innovations and stand a chance to win commercialization support for your innovation. 

Selected innovators building engineering solutions to local challenges will be granted an eight-month inclusive training period that will culminate in a special online event where a winner is chosen to receive £25,000, and three runners-up will each be awarded £10,000.

Application Deadline: September 14, 2020 


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All 16 shortlisted entrepreneurs for the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation will receive:

  • Commercialization support 
  • Eight months of training and mentoring
  • Access to business and technical expertise
  • Access to potential partnerships and opportunities
  • A chance to win a cash prize of up to £25,000
  • Access to a global network of entrepreneurs

Other prizes include

  • £25,000 monetary prize for the winner
  • £10,000 monetary prize each for three runners-up


To be eligible for this prize:

  • Applicants must be individuals or small groups.
  • The lead applicant must be over the age of 18 by 1 September 2020. 
  • Applicants must be citizens of a country within sub-Saharan Africa. Eligible countries include
    • Angola
    • Benin
    • Botswana
    • Burkina Faso
    • Burundi
    • Cabo Verde
    • Cameroon
    • Central African Republic
    • Chad
    • Comoros
    • Congo Republic
    • Côte d’Ivoire
    • Djibouti
    • DR Congo
    • Equatorial Guinea 
    • Eritrea
    • Eswatini
    • Ethiopia
    • Gabon
    • Gambia
    • Ghana
    • Guinea
    • Guinea Bissau
    • Kenya
    • Lesotho
    • Liberia
    • Madagascar
    • Malawi
    • Mali
    • Mauritius
    • Mozambique
    • Namibia
    • Niger
    • Nigeria
    • Rwanda
    • São Tomé and Príncipe
    • Senegal
    • Seychelles
    • Sierra Leone
    • Somalia
    • South Africa
    • South Sudan
    • Sudan
    • Tanzania
    • Togo
    • Uganda
    • Zambia
    • Zimbabwe.
  • For teams of two or more, the lead applicant must be a citizen of a country within sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The innovation must be based in a country in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Applicants must have an engineering innovation.


  • Applicants are not required to be engineering graduates or students
  • Industrial researchers and establishments are not eligible for this Prize. 
  • The innovation being submitted for this prize can be any new product, technology or service, based on research in engineering defined in its broadest sense to encompass a wide range of fields, including: 
    • Agricultural technology
    • biotechnology
    • Chemical engineering
    • Civil engineering
    • Computer science
    • Design engineering
    • Electrical and electronic engineering
    • ICT
    • Materials science
    • Mechanical engineering
    • Medical engineering. 
  • Applicants should have developed, and be in the early stages of commercializing, an engineering innovation that:
    • ​Will bring social and environmental benefits to a country/countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
    • Has strong potential to be replicated and scaled up
    • Is accompanied by an ambitious but realistic business plan which has strong commercial viability
  • Registration is required ahead of Thursday, 3 September, to receive login details to join the online event.
  • Participants should note that this event will be recorded and published on the Royal Academy of Engineering website.

Free Worksheet and Checklist

Here at Camberene, we go the extra mile to make sure you win. So we have designed a beautiful checklist to help you keep track of your progress and make sure you’re doing things correctly.

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Application Instructions

There’s no fee charged. To apply, 

  • Read the guidance notes and the FAQ
  • Read the application guide
  • Check further eligibility criteria to make sure you fulfill all. 
  • Applicants must provide a letter of support from a university, research institution innovation hub, or previous incubator program. This can be as simple as stating that an individual studied at or was involved with that institution. 

Click here to register and submit your application via the online grants system.

About the Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

Launched in 2014, the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation seeks to promote, fund, recognize and honor engineering entrepreneurship in Africa. 

The Prize provides in-depth training, mentoring, and communications support to outstanding ventures.

Founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation is Africa’s biggest prize for engineering innovation. 

Participants will pitch their businesses for the chance to win £25,000 and the 2020 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. The event will also include a fireside chat from a guest speaker and a virtual exhibition for connecting with this year’s shortlisted candidates.

Discover more opportunities from Royal Academy of Engineering.

Key Dates and Order of Program

Submission of applications will close by the deadline of 14th September 2020 at 4pm (GMT+1).

The prize will be awarded to driven African innovators developing scalable engineering solutions to local challenges, demonstrating the importance of engineering as an enabler of improved quality of life and economic development.

Past Edition

A 31-year-old South African electrical engineer has won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s 2019 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. Neo Hutiri is the first South African to win the prestigious Africa Prize.

Hutiri and his team developed Pelebox, a smart locker system designed to dispense medicine to patients with chronic conditions. Pelebox is used at public healthcare facilities in South Africa, cutting down on long queues and easing pressure on the healthcare system.

The team win the first prize of £25,000. At an awards ceremony in Kampala, Uganda on 4 June 2019, four finalists from across sub-Saharan Africa delivered presentations, before Africa Prize judges and a live audience voted for the most promising engineering innovation.

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Babajide is a content writer and site admin at Camberene. He majored in zoology and is also a tech enthusiast proficient in the use of python, R and other data analytics tools.

Babajide is looking into using machine learning and artificial intelligence in the near future.

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