NEF Africa Energy Innovation Challenge

NEF Africa Energy Innovation Challenge 2023 – $10,000 Fund

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The NEF Africa Energy Innovation Challenge 2023 is currently accepting applications. The Nigeria Energy Forum (NEF) is hosting the 8th Africa Energy Innovation Challenge, which invites early-stage energy entrepreneurs from across Africa to work with regional research organisations or businesses to create a prototype model of a key piece of equipment or machinery for a social energy enterprise, agribusiness, fintech solutions, or energy management system using regional materials.

For early-stage energy entrepreneurs in Africa, proposals are being sought in four innovation tracks, including:

  • Track 1: Clean Energy Solutions for Agro-industry
  • Track 2: Energizing Healthcare & Education
  • Track 3: Smart Metering & Artificial Intelligence
  • Track 4: Cleaner Electrification of Transport/Oil & Gas


An impartial team of development professionals with years of experience from the public and commercial sectors will choose the finalists and winners. It is expected that at least one winner per track will receive grant prizes, and up to 20 nominated entries will receive free passes to the 2023 competition.

Competition winners will have the chance to:

  1. Get awards of up to $10,000 in cash to test out or scale the suggested solution;
  2. Utilising a poster and a quick film, introduce their proposed prototype model at the 2023 Nigeria Energy Forum;
  3. Have access to exclusive networking opportunities with top decision-makers in government, international development, academia, and the commercial sector, as well as other young professionals;
  4. Attend workshops on business growth and get assistance from a specialised incubator.


  • Young professionals from Africa between the ages of 18 and 35 are invited to take part in the competition in any of the four aforementioned innovation tracks.
  • A group of at least three people may submit an application. Teams may be formed from various schools, organisations, businesses, nations, etc.
  • Multiple applications may be submitted by individuals or teams.
  • Applications from female-led teams are greatly encouraged.

Evaluation Standards

The following criteria will be used to assess the initial round of submissions:

  • Local content must: utilise local resources, show use of local knowledge, alternative energy services, or effective solutions for powering agriculture, education, healthcare, industries, etc.; and be important enough to have an effect on a sizable number of individuals, households, and/or enterprises.
  • Originality and creativity: In areas that are either underdeveloped or badly underdeveloped in research and literature, provide solutions that are innovative and creative.
  • Commercial viability: The proposed prototype model should be feasible, practical rather than theoretical, cost-effective, and explain commercial arrangements that deal with evident impediments while using a specific prototype model.
  • Clarity: Ideas must to be communicated in a straightforward and simple manner, with a reasonable completion date.


If you are interested in applying for this programme, kindly follow the instructions below.

Submissions must be made online and evidence of submission in Microsoft Word or PDF format by email to [email protected].

  • The Subject line of the email should follow the format: [Country] Title of the Project.
  • Submissions that exceed the page/word limit may be disqualified.
  • Shortlisted submissions would be invited to participate in the final round by submitting a 1-page poster to summarise their design, with a detailed budget, a 2-page Design brief, and a Short 2-minute video to pitch a prototype model of the proposed solution.

Deadline: August 31, 2023

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