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AIMS-NEI Big Data for Development Innovation Challenge 2019 for Young African Scientists

The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences – Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS-NEI), in partnership with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), is launching the Big Data for Development (BD4D) Innovation Challenge. 

Application Deadline: 21st August 2019 at 11:00 PM CAT.

Eligible Countries: African countries

About the Award: The BD4D Innovation Challenge aims to support emerging young African data scientists to develop innovative solutions that leverage new and non-traditional sources of data to address development challenges.  

The challenges 

For this pilot program, the following three challenges have been selected. In future editions, there will be additional challenges in different development areas. 

Before submitting your application, we kindly invite you to click on each link below and take time to read the information provided about each challenge.

  1. Youth employment 
  2. Financial inclusion
  3. Food security

Type: Contest


  • The BD4D Innovation Challenge is open to Applicants from member countries of the African Union.
  • Applicants may be individuals or teams of individuals. Teams are encouraged to combine skills in data science and data engineering. Applicants are responsible for compliance with the legal requirements of their country. 
  • Applicants must submit a solution to one of the 3 challenges above

Number of Awards: Not specified

Value of Award:

  • Seed funding grants of up to USD 10,000 
  • Mentorship support
  • Public recognition and opportunity to network 

Selected candidates will pitch at the Final Challenge and compete for seed funding awards and mentorship support. 

Challenge Winners will be selected and awarded for the following categories:

  1. Best BD4D-IC solution: Up to $10,000 
  2. Most Innovative BD4D-IC solution: Up to $10,000 

 AIMS-NEI will extend an invitation to the winning solutions to explore ways to collaborate in validating, implementing or scaling the project’s reach. All winning projects will be recognized through public communications from the AIMS-NEI, IDRC and the World Bank Group and may be mentioned as part of a high-profile international event where the BD4D network will participate. 

The prizes will be awarded in disbursements, based on a deliverables plan which will be agreed with each team. 

How to Apply:

  1. Applicants must use this online form to submit their application for the BD4D Innovation Challenge.
  2. The best submissions will be invited to pitch at the Final Pitch Competition. 
  3. The Pitching Competition will take place on September 9th, 2019. Winners will be announced on the same day.

Visit Award Webpage for Details