[Apply Now] 2022 UNDP WACA Youth Innovation Challenge for African Youths

The United Nations Development Programme Sub-Regional Hub for West and Central Africa (UNDP WACA) has launched the 2022 UNDP WACA Youth Innovation Challenge calling for young entrepreneurs and innovators with impactful solutions in West and Central Africa.

The UNDP WACA Youth Innovation Challenge is an initiative designed to identify and support the transformative innovations and resilience of young people from West and Central Africa. It follows the 2021 inaugural edition – Sahel Innovate Challenge – which provided 10 youth from across the Sahel Region with funding ranging from $1,000 – $20,000 to bolster their innovations.

Organizer: The United Nations Development Programme
Category: Grant
Eligible Country: Africans
Application Closing Date: September 2nd, 2022

Important Dates
July 25 – Call for Applications
September 2 – Deadline for Applications
September 5 – Screening Process
October 14 – Pre-Selection Phase of 30 Innovators
End of October – Notification to Preselected Innovators
November (TBC) – Pitch Day for Finalists and Award Ceremony

Thematic Areas

  • Digital Transformation
  • COVID-19 Recovery
  • Health, Education
  • Peace and Security
  • Cultural and Creative Arts
  • Agroforestry
  • Climate Change.

Program Eligibility

  • You must be between 18 and 35 years old.
  • A citizen (can be in diaspora) of a West & Central African country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
  • The best existing solutions (with tangible impact) in the thematic areas listed above.


  • 5 finalists will be fully funded to participate and pitch their solutions at the 2022 YouthConnekt Sahel Forum in N’Djamena, Chad and win funding of up to $50,000 (total award envelope to be awarded to the top 5 innovators).
  • Opportunities for young innovators to access funding and partnership opportunities.
    Evaluation committees will identify 30 pre-selected youth to join the WACA innovator network and access peer-to-peer learning, coaching, and training opportunities.

How to Apply for the 2022 UNDP WACA Youth Innovation Challenge

  • Upload a video pitch of not more than 2-minutes.

Video Submission Guidelines
– Recording should be done in a quiet place with no music or background noise (Listen to your audio before uploading the video and ensure you are audible).
– The video should answer the question: What is the impact of your solution in your community, and what is its value and potential?
– Keep the camera in a still position to avoid a shaky recording.
– Ensure the picture quality of your video is clear.
– Videos should be shot in “landscape/widescreen” mode.
– Recording should not exceed 2 minutes and can be recorded in English, French, or Portuguese.

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