YOTA Youth Innovation Challenge 2022 for young Africans (up to $5,000)

Deadline: July 29, 2022

Applications are open for the YOTA Youth Innovation Challenge 2022. The challenge aims to foster and nurture catalytic youth-led solutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The challenge is part of the African Youth Partnership’s activities to advocate for an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

YOTA (Youth Opportunity & Transformation in Africa) helps young innovators drive change and contribute to post-pandemic recovery efforts through grassroots innovation and social action. It is about mitigating the negative consequences of the pandemic on young people and their communities while elevating the ideas, ingenuity and creativity of young innovators working to address the effects of the global health crisis.

They are looking for the most talented young innovators from The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria to showcase their ideas and propose solutions to address the many challenges posed to the continent by the COVID-19 pandemic. They want to support youth innovation for the advancement of inclusive and equitable post-pandemic recovery efforts.

Challenge areas

The thematic focus of the Youth Innovation Challenge cuts across multiple sectors, provided a direct link can be made to post-pandemic recovery potential. In particular, we are looking for youth-led solutions that address challenges in one or more of the following themes:

  • Agriculture and fishing
  • Biodiversity
  • Digitization, AI and Emerging Technologies
  • Education and skills
  • Use
  • Energy and Industry
  • International Finance, Trade and Investment
  • Genre
  • Governance and policy
  • Health and wellness, including vaccines
  • Housing and infrastructure development
  • Local and regional development
  • Migration
  • Mobility and transport
  • Tourism


Youth Innovation Challenge participants are fortunate to receive a mix of support to enable them to implement their solutions, including:

  • Up to $5,000 in funding per project.
  • Business development advice from top experts in the field of innovation and human-centered design.
  • Access to carefully selected tools and resources to support the full cycle of youth-led innovation and human-centered design.
  • Opportunity to be part of a growing community of young African innovators for continuous learning, sharing and networking.
  • Opportunity to be supported to present solutions on various international multi-stakeholder platforms, processes and meetings before the end of 2022.


Open to:

  • A young individual between 18 and 35 years old; or an informal group of young people, or a local organization or business run by young people or women (non-profit or for-profit are welcome); female applicants or female-dominated teams are particularly encouraged to apply.
  • Nationals of The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria who reside in their country or are based in the Diaspora.
  • People who are passionate about using their skills to design innovative solutions to promote the resolution of the many socio-economic challenges posed to your country by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Truly innovative and impactful ideas or solutions that have the potential to change lives in a lasting way.

Judgment criterion

  • Fit for Scope – Solution contributes to COVID-19 recovery efforts with potential for disruption
  • Business Model – The solution clearly demonstrates a viable business model and opportunity for revenue generation
  • Sustainability – The solution is financially and operationally viable beyond the initial investment
  • Feasibility – The solution is viable and in the right direction
  • Value – The solution has a strong value proposition
  • Creativity – The solution is clearly an innovative approach to addressing the target challenge
  • Human-Centered – The solution is based on end-user feedback to solve a real problem for the community
  • Scalability – The solution can be easily scaled and replicated beyond the initial scope


The deadline for first-round submissions is July 29, 2022. Announcement of shortlisted submissions will be made on August 12, 2022.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit YOTA Youth Innovation Challenge.

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