Can You Solve Africa’s Energy Problems? Apply for The Africa Energy Ideas Competition


The Africa Energy Ideas Competition is for early-stage business ideas. Across Africa, the key energy challenge is how to electrify millions of households, remote communities and small-scale entrepreneurs as quickly as possible. This competition engages young professionals from Africa in developing innovative ideas with a focus on solutions that are sustainable, affordable and commercially viable to urgently tackle the African energy challenge.

Evaluation Criteria

The first round of submissions will be evaluated using the following attributes:

  • Significance: alternative energy services for powering agriculture, education, healthcare, MSMEs etc.; and be significant enough to impact large numbers of people, households and/or businesses.
  • Originality and creativity: present solutions that are original, creative in areas that are either underdeveloped or severely underdeveloped in research and literature.
  • Feasibility: submissions should be realistic, practical rather than just theory, cost efficient and outline commercial arrangements that address obvious roadblocks, using a specific case study.
  • Clarity: ideas should be presented in a clear and concise manner.


The finalists and winners will be selected by a panel of academics and experienced development professionals from public and private sector institutions. Winners of the competition get the opportunity to:

  • Present their ideas at the 2017 Nigeria Energy Forum, in Lagos, Nigeria.
  • Benefit from unique networking opportunities with other young leaders as well as some of the most senior decision-makers in government, international development, academia and the private sector.
  • Attend a range of business development workshops, receive support from a dedicated start-up incubator and a cash prize of up to $1,000.


  • Young professionals between the ages of 18 and 35 years from Africa are invited to participate in the competition.
  • Applications may be submitted by individuals or a team of up to three people.
  • Teams may be formed across different schools, institutions, companies, countries etc.
  • Individuals or teams may submit multiple applications.

Competition Guidelines

Your submission must not exceed 1-side of an A4 page and should include the following:

  • Project Title
  • Your solution (250 words)
  • Authors
  • Expected impact (50 words)
  • Short abstract (50 words)
  • Are there similar examples? (50 words)
  • Problem Statement (50 words)
  • Challenges (50 words)

Application Process

Submissions must be in Microsoft Word or PDF format by email to The subject line of the email should follow the format: [Country] Title of the Project.

Submissions that exceed the word count may be disqualified. Shortlisted submissions would be invited to participate in the final round with a full proposal and short 2-minute video.


  • Deadline for proposal submission: May 20, 2017
  • Announcement of submissions selected for the final round: June 10, 2017
  • Deadline for final submissions: June 20, 2017
  • Announcement of winners: July 4, 2017

Go to the Africa Energy Ideas Competition official page for more details.




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