Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

The African Innovation Foundation and MINRESI launch the 2015 Innovation Award

The Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation and the African Innovation Foundation gathered Cameroonian innovators on Thursday, August 21, 2014 at MINRESI to officially present and launch, for the first time, the 2015 edition of the Innovation Prize for Africa.


While the 2014 edition, held last May in South Africa, attracted 22 Cameroonian applications, the 2015 edition, for which the deadline for applications is October 31, 2014, has so far attracted just one. Hence the call from the Minister, Dr Madeleine TCHUINTE, through Dr Martin FOUDA, Head of the Division for the Promotion and Support of Innovation, and Mrs Rebecca Madeleine EBELLE ETAME, Secretary General of MINRESI, to do their utmost to attract a volume of applications commensurate with the country’s innovative potential.

Cameroonian innovators are already familiar with the teaching of innovation through competition, through the Journées d’Excellence de la Recherche Scientifique et de l’Innovation (JERSIC). For these two MINRESI officials, the ceremony was a founding event insofar as, by taking national creativity to the next level on a continental scale, it introduced Cameroonian innovators and, with them, the entire Cameroonian economy into the orbit of globalization. The ultimate hope, added the two speakers, was to create the conditions for innovation based on competitiveness, alongside institutional innovation.

The Secretary General, who presided over the ceremony on behalf of the Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation, added that the Innovation Award for Africa, abbreviated to PIA, gives particular prominence to the growing political will, now worldwide, to support our country’s scientific and technological development alongside the international community. She concluded that the Minister’s agreement to organize such an event within the ministerial department for which she is responsible underscores the government’s commitment to Cameroon’s policy of major achievements, as it embarks on the road to emergence by 2035, which the President of the Republic, Head of State, so earnestly hopes for.

To convince the audience of the reliability of the prize, the African Innovation Foundation proceeded in two stages. The first, through the voice of the AIF representative, explained the competition environment (application conditions, evaluation criteria, forms of reward, etc.). The second featured two innovators, namely Mr. Logou Minsob, Managing Director of LOGOU CONCEPT, a Togolese national and winner of the 2nd prize in the 2014 AIF, creator of the machine known as FOUFOUMIX, who described to the audience the trajectory of his innovation. Today, this innovation has enabled him to run a company with 20 employees and sales of 100 million CFA francs.

Mr. DJOKIKANG FAUSTINUS, Managing Director of NOVATECH CONSTRUCTION SYSTEM, a finalist for the 2013 prize and a Cameroonian national, presented the audience with a manual machine that enables the rapid, low-cost manufacture of clay bricks generating 40 tonnes of compression pressure, guaranteeing unprecedented brick quality.

Mrs Viviane ONDOUA BIWOLE, DGA of ISMP, who was a member of the 2012 jury, also shared her experience with the audience. She not only outlined the characteristics of the candidate selection process (rigor, confidentiality and fairness), but also invited potential Cameroonian candidates to apply early enough, fill in the form correctly and ensure the accuracy of the information, which is scrupulously researched by the competition administration.

For all the speakers, Africa has the intellectual resources, creativity and entrepreneurial genius to solve its own problems. This is why Cameroon, considered to be Africa in miniature, has been chosen as the launch pad for the 2015 edition. The Innovation Award for Africa focuses on five main areas: agriculture and agro-industry; information technology and innovation applications; health and well-being; manufacturing and services; and the environment, energy and water. Projects must meet the following criteria:

Commercial potential, i.e. the innovation’s marketability;

Socio-economic impact of the proposed innovation;

Scalability of the innovation;

Originality of the idea;

Scientific and technological importance of the field concerned.

In short, the criterion par excellence is that the innovation should be capable of being applied in business to create wealth. This is why the Foundation is inviting African innovators with solutions to everyday problems to apply.

Among the many Cameroonian innovators present in the room, two of today’s most prominent were introduced to the audience. They were Arthur Zang, a polytechnician and creator of the cardiovascular consultation tablet, and Pierre Ayissi Manga, creator of the okok cutting machine.

The African Prize is divided into three categories:

‘ first prize: 50,000,000 FCFA for the best innovation ;
‘ second prize: 12,500,000 FCFA for an innovation with high commercial potential ;
‘ special prize: 12,500,000 FCFA for the innovation with the greatest social impact.

The mobilization of innovators in terms of awareness-raising and coaching is set to continue, according to modalities to be defined shortly by the MINRESI administration.

The ceremony was attended by representatives of partner ministries, including the Ministries of Commerce, External Relations, Higher Education, and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts.

To apply, please log on to no later than October 31, 2014