The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) has announced Rwanda will host the seventh edition of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) in October.

Hosted each year by the AIF, the IPA is aimed at showcasing African ingenuity and recognising and connecting African innovators and entrepreneurs with key innovation ecosystem enablers.

The seventh edition of the prize will take place on October 11-12 at Kigali Convention Centre, following previous events in Ethiopia, South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco, Botswana and Ghana.

Jean de Dieu Rurangirwa, Rwanda’s minister of IT and communications, said it was a great honour for the country to host this year’s edition of the IPA and emphasised the effort made by the Rwandan government to adopt innovative solutions to the country’s problems.

“We are delighted to host the Innovation Prize for Africa 2018. We commend AIF’s work to address the continent’s challenges through innovation. IPA’s message cuts across generations and puts forth mindsets that are passionate about the upliftment of Africa. Such an event showcases African ingenuity. We look forward to hosting these brilliant minds,” he said.

AIF board chairman Walter Fust said Rwanda had emerged as one of Africa’s most innovative economies, topping the ranks as far as science, technology and innovation (STI) capacity is concerned.

“The government’s goal to attract US$1 billion worth of ICT investments by 2020, backed by major milestones such as the Kigali Innovation City, is a reflection of its commitment towards digital transformation,” he said.

“Rwanda’s efforts to support innovation and promote high-tech sectors such as ICTs and life sciences are truly commendable. We are proud to partner with the Government of Rwanda to host IPA 2018 and look forward to collaborating with Rwandan innovators and innovation enablers in their quest to become an innovation-led knowledge economy.”