Harnessing the Power of AI for Africa’s Development

Call for Applications: Responsible AI Innovations


The Artificial Intelligence for Development in Africa (AI4D Africa) program is a joint endeavor between IDRC and SIDA  to support innovations, policy research, and skills to spur responsible AI development in Africa.

Villgro Africa is an early-stage business incubator and impact investor that supports health, life science and agricultural startups on the African continent – to transform product and process innovations into viable, scalable businesses that impact the base of the economic pyramid (BoP).

AI4D and Villgro Africa have partnered with the aim of uncovering African-led AI innovations that will be instrumental in catalyzing the emerging ecosystem towards responsible development of the technology while strengthening the capacity of African innovators with regards to scaling their impact and improving development outcomes.

As part of the initiative, an innovation bootcamp has been organized for these selected entrepreneurial AI practitioners, to work with them to develop innovative and commercially viable products and services.

Sectors of focus include:
  • Health
  • Agriculture
  • Climate Action
  • Finance


April 14, 2021
Organizer Villgro Africa
Targets Africa
Sectors Agribusiness, Artificial intelligence, EdTech, Financial services, Healthcare, HealthTech
SDG (4)
1. No Poverty, 13. Climate Action, 3. Good Health and Well-being, 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Who is eligible to apply?

This call shall be limited to citizens and/or nationals from East, West or Southern Africa who are attached to a university, research institution, private company, or other related organization.

How will you benefit?

  • Funding – Initial investment funding of up to $10,000 for selected innovations
  • Access to Networks – Access to development and investor networks from AI4D and Villgro Africa.
  • Investment Readiness – Receive mentorship and training for up to 3 months that will enable you to communicate effectively with potential partners and investors.

Selection Criteria

  • An AI-based innovation with the potential for development impact and scale (30 points)
  • An AI-based innovation with the potential for commercial application (25 points)
  • A multidisciplinary team of three (3) members e.g. comprising academia and industry/private sector (20 points).
  • Align with the principles of Responsible AI Design (15 points)
  • Technical proof of concept will be preferred over unproven ideas (10 points).

How to apply?

  • Applicants must first log in to their user account on VC4A to access the full application. If you don’t have a user account on VC4A, you will be asked to signup and complete 3 onboarding questions, before you can start with your application.
  • All applications have to be submitted via the online application form.
Application Deadline: April 9, 2021

For any questions or additional information, please contact: ai4d@villgroafrica.org


This project is supported by: