2022 Regional Call for Innovations

The Southern and Central Africa Regional Innovation Hub (S/CA RIH) is proud to announce its Call for Innovations. The S/CA RIH supports innovative companies and organizations that work in the Southern Africa and Central Africa and produce more food while using less water and energy. Together with investors and partners, the S/CA RIH works to scale mid-to-later stage enterprises that have an environmental and social impact in the water-energy-food nexus. 

Through WE4F, innovators from the S/CA region can access financial support of up to USD $200,000 per innovation, technical support, and investment matching necessary to make food production and farming more sustainable, productive, and bountiful.

Why Apply?


  • Winners will be part of an extensive network and introduced to various partners, mentors, and service providers to help them achieve their expansion goals.   
  • They will also have access to an exclusive learning community where they can exchange ideas with their cohort peers in the cohort and other Regional Innovation Hubs through regular workshops and meetings.


  • Receive support to expand the business to other geographies, products, or services 
  • Attract and secure external investors by working with S/CA RIH’s Brokering Unit.
  • Examples of support categories:
    • Investment readiness
    • Commercial expansion
    • Marketing and communication
    • Digitalization and technology enhancement


Select organizations may qualify for grants to help achieve scaling goals, funding size ranges from $40,000 to $200,000 USD.

What We’re Looking For

WE4F is looking for mid- to late-stage enterprises, nonprofits with a for-profit program, and other organizations based in the Southern and Central Africa, who have innovative water-food, energy-food, and water-energy-food solutions. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements outlined below to participate in this call for innovation.

Women-owned and women-led organizations are encouraged to apply.


WE4F is open to legally incorporated/registered for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations or academic institutions with a proven business model, recurring sales, an existing customer base, and the ability to generate revenue and maintain a self-sustaining operational budget. 


WE4F is open to all relevant organizations/companies which are ready to scale. We encourage applications from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 


The S/CA RIH supports innovators from Angola, Botswana, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Applicants must be legally registered in at least one of these countries. If expansion into a new country is a key part of an applicant’s business plan, they must demonstrate that they already have partners in place in that country to be considered.  


Application responses must be written in English or French.


Applicants should be open and willing to contribute the matching funds to the overall award if a grant is awarded. The final amount of matching funds will be determined on a case-by-case basis for each applicant near the time of award.


Applicants’ innovations must have a direct, tangible linkage to water-food, energy-food, or water-energy-food. In addition, innovations must directly or indirectly impact poverty reduction and gender equality and have a positive impact on the environment and avoid negative environmental effects.

How to Apply

  1. Review the solicitation document.
  2. Review the eligibility criteria.
  3. Create an account on SMApply
  4. Review thecomplete list of application questions. All applications must be submitted via the application portal.  Submissions via email or any other medium will not be accepted. 
  5. Applicants can save their progress on the application form by clicking on the “Save & continue editing” icon at the bottom of the application. Please note that the application must be submitted before the deadline. 
  6. All questions marked with * are mandatory, please ensure you fill them before submitting the application. 
  7. The deadline for submission is September 16, 2022  at 4:00 PM CAT; however, we STRONGLY suggest not waiting until the last day to tackle your application. 

In case you have any questions about the application or are facing any technical challenges with the application portal, please contact us at we4fafricarih@tetratech.com. 

Application Process and Timeline

August 19, 2022 Application Launch 
August 29, 2022 at 4:00 PM CAT Deadline for submission of questions for Q&A Webinar
August 31, 2022 at 2:00 PM CAT Q&A Webinar
September 16, 2022 at 4:00 PM CAT  Deadline for submitting applications 
September 2022 Concept notes are evaluated
September 26, 2022 Full-proposal application opens
October 3, 2022 at 4:00 PM CAT Deadline for submission of questions for Full-proposal application Q&A Webinar
October 5, 2022 at 2:00 PM CAT Full-proposal application Q&A Webinar
October 17, 2022 Full-proposal application closed 
October 2022 Full proposals evaluated and scored against set criteria 
November 2022

Video Conference Interviews

December 10, 2022
Award nominee approval by Secretariat and SteeringCommittee
December 12-15,2022 Pre-award boot camp
February 2023 Awards made to top applicants 

Application Resources

Watch the Q&A Webinar

Thinking about applying to a Call for Innovations in Southern and Central Africa? Then watch this webinar to learn about the program’s environmental requirements and compliance.

SMApply Demo Video

Women Innovators in Agriculture