In line with the Agenda 2063 of the African Union that aims to achieve a peaceful and united continent for generations to come, the Commission decided to theme this year “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s development’. The theme aims to achieve a conflict-free continent and thus setting its focus on youth engagement due to their radical thinking which births innovation.
The African Union – African Governance Architecture (AGA) therefore organized a Youth Innovation Challenge which called for African innovators, incubation centres as well as innovation hubs with initiatives that contribute to democracy and good governance. Applications were sent in from across Africa and the diaspora, a total of 20 innovators were shortlisted and they will be receiving support beginning through a one-week virtual accelerator training. The virtual accelerator program is implemented under the AGA – COMESA joint project on youth engagement in democratic governance and sociology economic development processes in Africa in support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The virtual accelerator shall be conducted virtually by AfriLabs from the 23 – 27 November 2020.
The one-week virtual accelerator program aims to grow the participating innovators and their innovations. This will entail bringing onboard experts as facilitators and coaches and making available crucial industry, technical and business knowledge to the innovators. The program will run from Monday, the 23rd to Monday, the 30th of November 2020, and will consist of:
- A joint goal setting session with innovators and their coaches
- One-week intensive virtual training sessions
- Daily coach check-ins with innovators
- An inspirational talk session by top industry professionals
- A Pitch Day
- Follow-on coaching, the intensity of which will be decided based on each innovator’s performance and needs.
At the end of the program, winners will be selected for recognition and awards. Selection will be based on different evaluations carried out pre, during and post the program.