Activating Innovation Potentials at Higher Education Institutions in Africa

The ACCESS Ideas Competition Hub is a platform that has hosted various ideas competitions over the past five years. Following two major branches of competition, we engaged in an array of subjects, fields, and sectors to further our basic objective. These contests share a similar goal of involving key stakeholders such as educators, researchers, administrators, students, and graduates in order to generate practical solutions to persistent challenges faced by African higher education institutions. The competitions aim to inspire long-term solutions by encouraging cooperation and innovation within the system while also recognizing possibilities to maximize the potential of its individuals and their institutions. 

We believe competitions provide an easy path for passionate people to interact with one another. They can provide an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas before developing them into actual applications that can then be implemented within the system. To assist with the overall project’s goal, we opted for two main competitions that cover different approaches to innovation:

The “University of Ideas” competition aims to identify and develop ideas that are intended to improve the higher education system, from the lectures they provide to the skillsets they teach and the infrastructure they maintain. Based on subjects such as university business linkages, career enhancement, and technology and knowledge transfer, we hope to activate the most relevant stakeholders in analyzing and working on tangible challenges. We are helping them connect with like-minded people and administrative contacts at our partner universities to facilitate the swift transformation of ideas. 

The other branch focuses on business competitions, which encourage students, researchers, and university professors to use their findings to develop a business or startup. A competition with the objective of leveraging the knowledge and potential that universities have to offer in order to develop employment opportunities and the direct transfer of innovation into emerging economies. Both seek to improve the ability of African universities and research institutions by creating conditions that allow educational practices to meet social and economic needs. We seek to encourage new ideas, assist participants, and link them with like-minded supporters within and outside of institutions. 

University of Ideas Competition

AGEA Business Ideas Competition

The University of Ideas Competition invites students, lecturers and university staff to explore and develop innovative ideas. This competition encourages academic innovation and collaboration, challenging participants to bring up innovation from inside the system and propose solutions that can navigate the individual challenges of their Higher Education Institution.

The AGEA Business Ideas Competition fosters entrepreneurial skills by turning innovative ideas into successful business ventures. Participants receive support and resources to refine their business concepts, making this competition a launchpad for future entrepreneurs.


Marcel Liebich

Coordinator for ACCESS (UBL)
Leipzig University
Management and Economics of Innovation
+49 341 97 33654

Bismark Agyei Yeboah

Coordinator for ACCESS (UBL | AGEA)
Leipzig University | SEPT
+49 341 97 39765

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