Entries for 2014 Innovation Prize


THE African Innovation Foundation, AIF, has called for entries for the 2014 Innovation Prize for Africa, IPA. The prestigious prize, presented annually since 2012, aims at encouraging innovations that contribute to sustainable development in Africa. The winning submission will be awarded a prize of $100,000 with two additional $25,000, one for the runner up with an innovation with the best business potential and the other one for the runner up with the innovation with the best social impact.

In an effort to drive African-led development, the IPA invites African entrepreneurs and innovators to propose projects that unlock new African potentials under one of the five categories: agriculture and agribusiness; environment, energy and water; health and wellbeing; ICT applications; and manufacturing and services industries. Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, founder, AIF, said the best way to build Africa’s capacity is to invest in local innovation and entrepreneurship.  “This prize encourages Africans to develop creative ways to overcome everyday challenges,” he said.

The IPA 2013 was awarded to South Africa’s AgriProtein for its innovative approach to nutrient recycling, a method that uses waste and fly larvae to produce natural animal feed.  The 2013 prize also recognised two additional winners for their contributions to African innovation.  In the business potential category, Hassine Labaied and Anis Aouini from Saphon Energy, Tunisia, received $25,000 for creating a bladeless wind convertor.   In the social impact category, Sanoussi Diakite, Senegal, received $25,000 for developing and distributing a thermal powered machine that husks 5 kilograms of Fonio, an important and healthy West African cereal in just 8 minutes.  This innovation increases accessibility to a nutritious African staple food source and addresses challenges associated with its consumption.

With more than 1,350 applications received to date, the IPA aims to support Africans’ efforts to develop new products, increase efficiency and drive cost-savings on the continent. The IPA also provides a platform for African innovators to showcase their solutions to potential investors and seek partners to scale up their marketable concepts. Only innovations by Africans and for Africans are eligible to enter. Africans in the Diaspora can also apply if their innovations are of significance to Africa.

Business Registration Online


THE federal ministry of industry, trade and investment has concluded plans to ensure that Nigerians in the Diaspora and foreigners planning to register their businesses in the country can do so online from any part of the world. Olusegun Aganga, minister of industry, trade and investment, said that the Corporate Affairs Commission had begun the process of ensuring that the 24-hour business registration was achieved in all states across the country.

He said that many states in the country had been covered since the commencement of the initiative in July last year. “Since the inauguration of the 24-hour business registration in July 2012; 35,902 companies have been registered within 24 hours. So, far, we have achieved a 10 per cent increase in the number of companies registered, and an increase of 33 per cent in business names registered and 42 per cent increase in incorporated trustees. Currently, the 24-hour business registration process is attainable in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Kaduna, with Port Harcourt and Enugu following shortly. Also, the global online business registration is to take off in two months’ time. This will ensure that anyone can register his business in Nigeria from any part of the world, and also make payment without necessarily coming to Nigeria,” he said.

Aganga noted that in line with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, the ministry was exploring new ways of unlocking domestic and international capital to boost local and foreign direct investment across all sectors of the economy, adding that the move would create more jobs and generate wealth for the country.


Working Towards Financial Sanity


THE federal government has expressed confidence that Nigeria will soon stop having issues with the Financial Action Task Force, FATF, regarding money laundering and counter financing terrorism regimes. Namadi Sambo, Nigeria’s vice-president, said this during the maiden meeting of a cabinet committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan on the issue.

Sambo promised that the committee would work hard to ensure that Nigeria’s name was completely removed from the blacklist. He said it was the belief of the president that with the measures already put in place regarding laws and regulations, the country should not continue to remain on the public statement of the FATF.

The vice-president noted that in a deliberate attempt to accelerate the delisting of Nigeria from FATF books, President Jonathan had constituted the high-powered committee and charged it to work assiduously to ensure effective discharge of its mandate. “I urge you all to work hard towards ensuring that we maintain the integrity of our financial system through effective implementation of laws and regulations against financial improprieties,” Sambo said.

He also ordered the immediate sanitisation of the country’s international airports, particularly the enforcement of the currency declaration regime by travellers.

Stephen Oronsaye, chairman, presidential task force on the FATF, said that the committee had made considerable efforts at ensuring that Nigeria was removed from the FATF blacklist, particularly in areas of strict implementation of rules and regulations in the financial system. Officials of the FATF are expected to visit Nigeria in September. The visit is meant to facilitate the delisting of the country from the body’s books.

Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu and Vincent Nzemeke 

— Aug, 12, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

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