AfriLabs, the largest pan-African network of technology and innovation hubs with over 340 members across 52 African countries, is set to host an awareness session in Rwanda on June 27, 2022, to encourage local participation in the 2023 edition of the Zayed Sustainability Prize. 

As the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) pioneering global award for recognising excellence in sustainability, the Prize’s US$3 million annual fund rewards winners US$600,000 in each of the Health, Food, Energy, and Water categories. While the Global High Schools category is split into six world region winners, with each school receiving up to US$100,000 to start or further expand their project.

Inspired by the sustainability and humanitarian legacy of the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Prize has, since its inception in 2008, awarded a total of 96 winners whose solutions or student-led school projects have positively transformed the lives of 370 million people around the world.

The Health, Food, Energy, and Water categories reward organisations that are already delivering impact and improving living and working conditions with their products and services. In the Global High Schools category, the Prize supports student-led projects in one or more of the four categories (Health, Food, Energy and Water) with the students actively involved in the planning, implementation, and monitoring processes.


Rwanda’s emerging innovation ecosystem and its thousands of entrepreneurs have the opportunity to showcase their work and impact to an international audience through the Zayed Sustainability Prize. Established in 2011, AfriLabs builds a community around rapidly emerging tech hubs – innovation spaces that serve as meeting points and communities for developers, entrepreneurs, and investors. 


AfriLabs’ Executive Director, Anna Ekeledo, said: “AfriLabs is indeed excited to be joining forces with the Zayed Sustainability Prize, a global award that recognises and rewards the achievements of those who are driving impactful, innovative, and inspiring sustainability solutions across Health, Food, Energy, and Water sectors. We will leverage our expertise in stakeholders’ engagement and organising national and pan-African events to host awareness sessions and workshops in Rwanda to raise awareness about the prize and encourage more African innovators to enter and potentially benefit from this opportunity.”

The awareness session will provide attendees including organisations and high schools with a practical tutorial on how to apply for the Prize and inform them about the benefits of participation – for themselves as entrants and the country. 

Applicants are encouraged to submit their entries by July 6, 2022. To qualify for consideration, submissions should demonstrate the following three core criteria:

  • Impact: Significant and tangible outcomes on the quality of people’s lives.
  • Innovation: Distinctive characteristics that positively transform lives and have the potential to catalyse opportunities that will have a disruptive positive impact.
  • Inspiration: The potential to scale up project outcomes, over the next decade, and the ability to inspire others.

For the Global High Schools category, their projects should be designed to deliver a positive educational impact, including providing access to quality education and ensuring students are given key skills and capabilities to achieve their goals. Like the other categories, each project should demonstrate new and innovative approaches and be inspirational to others. In the Global High Schools category, however, students may propose to solve a combination of challenges across all Health, Food, Energy, and Water categories; not just focusing on one.

Winners will be announced at the 2023 Zayed Sustainability Prize Awards Ceremony on January 16, 2023, as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).

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