Press Office: Zayed Sustainability Prize
The Zayed Sustainability Prize has announced the extension of its submissions’ deadline for the 2021 awards edition to June 11th, 2020, in efforts to accommodate its diverse international audience base throughout the ongoing global health crisis. This extension gives innovators and entrepreneurs in Africa more time to enter the Prize and the opportunity to showcase impactful, innovative and inspiring sustainability solutions that are coming out of the continent.
Small-to-medium sized enterprises, non-profit organisations and high schools from across Africa can still submit their entries, apply and compete through the Prize’s online portal, for the UAE’s pioneering global award rewarding impact, innovation, and inspiration across five sustainability categories – health, food, water, energy and global high schools.
Commenting on the announcement, H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and director general of the Zayed Sustainability Prize said, “As the world continues to combat Covid-19, identifying practical and effective solutions that strengthen sustainable development and empower others to do so through the Zayed Sustainability Prize remains an objective of paramount importance, in line with the humanitarian vision of our founding father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Therefore, given the special circumstances that various communities and nations are facing, the decision was taken to extend this year’s submission deadline.” H.E. added, “We have seen an encouraging volume of entries thus far, and we are confident that the expanded timeframe will enable the world’s sustainability pioneers to inspire us with their ideas to effect positive change.”
The Prize has been gathering momentum across Africa since its inception – last year boasting a greater number of applicants than any other region worldwide, with Nigeria performing in the top five of all countries globally. At the annual awards show earlier this year, African innovators continued to prove that life-changing innovations are increasingly borne out of the continent.
Okuafo Foundation, a Ghana-based start-up won the Prize in the food category. Recognised for its smartphone application that uses artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and data analytics to predict and detect crop diseases and infestations, Okuafo’s app also offers recommended solutions based on scientific knowledge, in real-time.
The $3 million prize fund is divided equally between the winners of the five categories, with each allocated $600,000. In the Global High Schools category, the award recognises six winners, from six world regions, with each winning school eligible to claim up to $100,000 in funding.
The 2019-2020 awards cycle witnessed a record-breaking number of submissions, with 2,373 entries received from 129 countries, a testament to the Prize’s far-reaching global success and mass appeal within the international sustainability community for more than a decade.
To date, the Prize has recognised and rewarded a total of 86 winners whose solutions or school projects have, directly and indirectly, transformed the lives of 335 million people around the world.
Small-to-medium sized enterprises and non-profit organisations must enter an existing sustainability solution with demonstrable impact in one of the health, food, energy, or water categories. On the other hand, the Global High Schools category invites student-led projects or proposals, based on one or more of those four sustainability themes, and provides funding to help develop or enhance their school or local community project.