Southern and Central Africa Regional Innovation Hub Announces Call for Innovations

Water and Energy for Food Grand Challenge (WE4F) Southern and Central Africa Regional Innovation Hub (S/CA RIH) launches its first Call for Innovations, open to enterprises and nonprofits and academic organizations that for-profit programs. Applicants should have a water-food, energy-food, or water-energy-food solution that can help smallholder farmers sustainably grow more food while using less resources.  

WE4F is proud to announce the launch of the first Southern and Central Africa Call for Innovations to foster innovation and enhance food security in the region. This call will support up to 30 organizations working on innovative technologies and business model solutions to provide more sustainable water or energy solutions for climate-resilient agriculture. The selected organizations will receive customized support in the form of technical assistance, investment facilitation, enabling ecosystem support, and grants up to $200,000 USD to scale their businesses, combat resource scarcity, and foster the transition to sustainable, climate-resilient agricultural sectors.

Water scarcity, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss, climate change, and poverty all threaten the region’s long-term food security and resilience. Tackling issues related to water, energy, and food is imperative to overcoming these barriers and achieving greater stability. Together with investors and partners, the S/CA RIH supports organizations with innovative solutions to produce more food while using less water and more sustainable energy sources in a socially inclusive manner. Innovations that consider the nexus of water, food and energy are particularly encouraged to apply.

In addition to funding organizations, the S/CA RIH helps them grow through technical assistance, investment facilitation, and improvement of the business and policy environment. Through this support, the hub enables organizations to scale their impact by enabling smallholder farmers in the region, particularly women to produce more food, increase their profits while strengthening their resilience to climate change. 

The inaugural S/CA Call for Innovations opens on November 23rd, 2021 and closes on January 4th, 2022. Winners will be announced in May 2022. If you are interested in applying, please visit for more information.

Watch our Q&A webinar that took place on December 7th, 2021. Submit questions for the Southern and Central Africa Regional Innovation Hub Team at


WE4F is a joint international initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the European Union (EU), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Netherlands, Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). 

To learn more, visit and follow WE4F on Twitter @WE4FGCD. 

The Southern and Central Africa Regional Innovation Hub (S/C Africa RIH) is operated by three leading international organizations (a consortium of Tetra Tech, Open Capital Advisors and International Water Management Institute (IWMI) who have many years of experience advocating for inclusive and equitable economic growth, gender equality, sustainable agriculture, and the sustainable use of energy, water, and other natural resources in the region. Together with investors and partners, the S/C Africa RIH works to scale 30 mid-to-later stage enterprises that have an environmental and social impact in the water-energy-food nexus.

Please visit to learn more