A call for business ideas that protect African wildlife, ecosystems

CAPE TOWN — An innovation challenge launched this month hopes to inspire new ideas for businesses that will provide people in Africa with sustainable incomes while protecting ecosystems.

The African Leadership University’s Kigali-based School of Wildlife Conservation (SOWC) approaches conservation with the aim of enabling African communities to “take ownership of wildlife and the environment” as an incentive to protect ecosystems. The Beyond Tourism in Africa innovation challenge, seeking to uncover non-tourism business ideas for the “wildlife economy,” emerges from the school’s view of nature as “a great pillar of economic growth for Africa.”

The challenge is a joint venture between SOWC, WWF Africa, and the Switzerland-based Luc Hoffmann Institute. Applications opened on Sept. 1. Up to 15 finalists will be selected in November; they will spend several months in ALU’s incubator program next year, developing their ideas before pitching them to investors in September 2021.

Tourism is the most

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