WE4F Southern and Central Africa Regional Innovation Hub Announces Winners of the Second Call for Innovations

For Immediate Release

March 24, 2023

Pretoria – The Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) Grand Challenge Southern and Central Africa Regional Hub (S/CA RIH) announced today the 6 winners of the second S/CA RIH Call for Innovations.

The second Call for Innovation awardees are from four countries in the region and fall into two major innovation types: water-ag technology and energy-ag technology that can be a combination of technologies. Together, innovators and the S/CA RIH can impact food security, poverty reduction, gender equality, and base of the pyramid integration while promoting environmental sustainability, climate mitigation and resilience, and the protection of nature and biodiversity.


Over $1 000 000 in grants will be divided amongst the 6 innovators. In addition to the grants, innovators will receive technical assistance and investment facilitation The 6 awardees are:

  1. Nature’s Nectar (Zambia) – helps farmers use sustainable agricultural practices to produce honey in a manner that protects biodiversity.
  2. Nabahya Food Institute (Democratic Republic of Congo) – produces briquettes using loaded biochar-manure-urine to increase agricultural yield and works with smallholder farmer cooperatives, teaching them sustainable tillage practices.
  3. Ndkay (Zambia) – provides farmers with solar cold rooms that extend product shelf life and reduce post-harvest losses.
  4. Phoenix Seeds Limitada (Mozambique) – provides farmers with drought-tolerant seed varieties to boost agricultural production. 
  5. Zircon Energy Solutions (Zambia) – sells solar-powered water pumps to base of the pyramid farmers through a pay-as-you-go business model.
  6. Zonal (Chad) – works with farmers to produce fish by-products that food and nutrition security using sustainable fishing methods.

The Call for Innovations is an activity under Water and Energy for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development (WE4F). WE4F is an international partnership amongst the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the European Union, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Netherlands, Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). WE4F aims to increase food production, impact gender and poverty, and promote biodiversity, climate, and environmental resilience by sustainably scaling solutions to meet the challenges in the water-energy-food nexus.  

The WE4F Southern and Central Africa Regional Innovation Hub (a consortium of Tetra Tech, Open Capital Advisors, and International Water Management Institute) support the scaling-up of energy and/or water-efficient innovations in 12 countries, with a focus on women and the base of the pyramid. Innovations include technologies, business, finance models, and new modes of cooperation. 

To learn more, visit: https://we4f.org/sca and follow @WE4FGCD on Twitter.