SDG Innovation Challenge 2024 for Young Africans

Students, professionals, community activists, social entrepreneurs, and changemakers in Africa are all encouraged to submit applications for the SDG Innovation Challenge 2024. 

November 1, 2024 is when applications must be submitted.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Innovation Challenge was conceived as a virtual, pan-African ideation space.

 It is a powerhouse for young people from all over the African continent to come together and co-develop practical solution ideas to grassroots challenges while simultaneously moving the needle of sustainable development on a global scale.

This innovation challenge, conceived in 2020, requires participants to use their design and sophisticated thinking talents to tackle quantifiable and qualitative problems. 

The COVID-19 epidemic left a crippling mark: according to the World Bank, COVID-19 has pushed approximately 40 million Africans into extreme poverty and affected the economy and way of life in numerous ways.

About SDG Innovation Challenge

The Sustainable Development Goals Innovation Challenge 2022 will build upon its predecessors to create a larger platform for greater participation and broader horizons. 

The Sustainable Development Goals Innovation Challenge brings together young talent with three key goals, all of which are centred around the theme “Transformative Solutions against Global Challenges – Accountability in Leveraging Youth Action to Create and Empower“:

  • To trigger fresh thinking by connecting innovators from diverse backgrounds and sectors.
  •  To develop fresh, practical approaches to furthering SDG impact through cross-boundary collaboration.
  •  To ignite transformative action towards sustainable development and improved livelihoods of communities across Africa.

SDG Innovation Challenge Eligibility

  • Open to participation from young people across Africa.
  •  Have a connection to this year’s challenge theme: Transformative Solutions against Global Challenges – Accountability in Leveraging Youth Action to Create and Empower.
  •  Have passion, drive, and commitment to improving livelihoods in your community and beyond.
  •  A genuine interest in sustainable development and a desire to contribute to advancing the SDGs in your community and beyond.
  •  The motivation to work in an agile hackathon-like environment, to engage proactively, and to ideate extensively throughout the event.
  •  Desire to connect and collaborate with people from different domains and geographies.
  •  The ability to work in an interdisciplinary team.
  •  The commitment to take the idea to completion and remain engaged with the cause post the SDG Innovation Challenge.

SDG Innovation Challenge Benefits

The SDG Innovation Challenge is where motivated young Africans come together to co-develop practical innovations that further the sustainable development of their local communities. There are numerous reasons to participate; here are a few of them:

  • Access to an unorthodox, dynamic, and diverse platform of youth activists, organizations, and legislators – Tap into a conducive online space to converge around practical SDG solutions!
  •  A much-needed opportunity to visualize and implement the SDGs at the grassroots level – Participate in the making of the future and jumpstart your involvement in the sustainable development agenda as an active, passionate global citizen.
  •  Immense networking potential – Build connections and be part of a community of practice around eco-systemic, collaborative solutions.
  •  A space to exercise your global citizenship muscle – Sharpen and hone skills in leadership, innovation, cross-sector collaboration, analytic thinking, interpersonal communication, intercultural communication, and allied areas.
  •  Sourcing diversity of thought, background, and sector – Collaborate with people from many domains, be it engineering, design, civic policy, social justice reform, project management, finance, education, and many others.

How to Apply for SDG Innovation Challenge

The registration follows a two-step process:

  • First, you must register your group – anyone in that group can do this. You must have the names and email addresses of the young innovators you’ll be working with since you will be asked to provide that information in the online registration form.
  •  Please note: Whether you’re looking for a group to enter the Challenge, you would want some more diversity of thought and talent in your group, or you ‘just’ want to meet like-minded, committed people who care about the SDGs: the pre-event connector space on Facebook is the space to be. It’s open for business, whatever your business might be.
  • After completing the group registration, the registrant will receive an email with instructions for the second step, the personal registry, where each group member must provide the additional personal information required to make the event a complete success. Both steps are equally important, and only groups who have completed both steps will be considered for participation in the SDG Innovation Challenge 2024


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