TICAD 7: 2019 Innovation Award

2019 Innovation Award

On the occasion of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), Ashinaga is holding 2019 Innovation Award at Waseda University. We are looking for innovative business ideas within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be presented in front of a prestigious jury of leading entrepreneurs. This competition is open to students from Japan and Africa currently enrolled at Japanese educational institution (high school, university or graduate school as well as employees from Japan and Africa residing in Japan.

If you have a unique idea related to the SDGs to be implemented in Japan or Africa, this your opportunity to share it, expand your network and receive feedback and professional advice from an experienced jury.

We have prepared two grand prizes for the winners as well as awards for all finalists. In addition, award winners might be featured in  The Mainichi Shimbun.



This competition is open to:

How to Apply

Apply here

To register to this award, submit a summary of your idea (700 words) in the link above, as well as your PowerPoint presentation.

All shortlisted applicants will be contacted by the end of June and requested to present the draft idea on a video call on the 13th of July. 

Selected participants will then be contacted by the end of July and asked to pitch their ideas on August 26th, 2019 (14:0018:30) at Waseda University.

Deadline: Monday, June 17, 2019 at 11:59 pm

Selection Criteria

The proposals will be evaluated based on the following factors:

Event Information

Date and time
August 26th, 2019 14:00~18:30

Waseda University Bldg. 3, Classroom No 301, 169-0051 Tokyo, Shinjuku-ku, Nishiwaseda 1-6-1,

Ashinaga Foundation, Association of African Economy and Development (AFRECO)

Waseda Institute of International Strategy, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), The Mainichi Shimbun Newspaper, Japan International Center for Exchange (JICE)

For inquiries
Contact the Office of the Japan-Africa Youth Alliance


Elizabeth Rossiello

Elizabeth is the CEO and founder of BitPesa, a digital foreign exchange and treasury solution for frontier markets. Founded in 2013, BitPesa was the first company to leverage digital currency to significantly lower the cost of making remittance and business payments to and from sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the first blockchain company to be licensed by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.  BitPesa is now a market-maker in every major African currency and facilitates payments into G20 currencies directly.

Yoko Sakanoue

Yoko Sakanoue is one of Japan’s leading business and communication strategists. Ms. Sakanoue’s projects often rely on her ability to bring together diverse talents drawing from her extensive network of political and business leaders, public sector officials, cultural leaders, social entrepreneurs, and non-profit organizers.

Her clients include international organizations, NPOs, as well as leading private corporations of Japan.

She is also an author of several best-selling books and is a popular lecturer at colleges and universities.

IKEUCHI ORGANIC, Dososhin, Yamada Seni, Qatar Airways, Super Hotel


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