September 12, 2023 AfricaDevelopmentSanitation

Open Call to Sanitation Innovators

Have you developed a successful innovative solution to a sanitation challenge applicable to Africa? IWA is providing a unique opportunity for innovators to display their prototypes, solutions, and demonstrations alongside the upcoming Innovation Acceleration Forum to be held on 11 December 2023 at the IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition in Kigali, Rwanda.

The Innovation Acceleration Forum will provide access to innovations and to thinking around the sanitation agenda and aims to bring together innovators, government, utilities, city managers and practitioners. Sanitation innovators selected from this open call will receive a display space and support for participation in a dedicated IWA SanitAction Innovators Expo running alongside the Forum, providing a platform for technology offerings, especially those from Africa or relevant to its sanitation landscape and challenges.

Looking beyond technology innovation, the Forum will encourage discussions on process, policy, governance, and social innovation from or applicable to the African context.

This is an open call for innovators, startups, researchers, NGOs, and industry leaders working on innovations related (but not limited) to:

  • Sanitation Systems Technologies
  • Digital Solutions to Sanitation
  • Wastewater and Faecal Sludge / Septage Management, Treatment, and Reuse
  • Sanitation Infrastructure
  • Safety and Personal Protection Equipment for Sanitation Workers
  • Eco-friendly, Nature-based Sustainable Sanitation Solutions
  • Sanitation Governance, Policy, and Regulation
  • Capacity Development


Target Audience

The key target audience for the innovation showcase, as part of the wider Exhibition in Kigali, is the Congress delegates – water professionals from across the full water cycle from more than 80 countries worldwide. In addition to Congress delegates, the Exhibition will attract local, regional, and international trade visitors. Participants from the global water sector will meet in world-class stands at the Exhibition, which will also host several country and thematic pavilions.

Visitors by Organisation Type

  • University & Research
  • Utilities
  • Government and Public Entities
  • Regulatory bodies
  • Technology & Industry
  • NGOs & Youth-led Organisations
  • Consultancy


What the selected applicants will receive

Free display space (2 square metres each) will be allocated for selected applicants. Additionally, a grant of 500 USD to support participation costs will be provided. The Exhibition opening dates are Sunday 10 – Thursday 14 December 2023 (on Sunday 10 December, evening opening only).



Application should include:

  • An overview of the innovation and its impact on sanitation
  • Evidence of the successful implementation of the innovation in Africa and the scale of implementation
  • Technical specifications and features of the innovation
  • Relevant images, video links, or demonstrations showcasing the innovation
  • Contact information

Send your applications by completing this form.


Timeline and Additional Information

12 September: Open call

4 October: Submissions deadline

10 October: Selected innovations notified

This opportunity is part of IWA’s Inclusive Urban Sanitation initiative which aims to reshape the global agenda on urban sanitation over the coming years. It forms part of IWA’s work to promote inclusive, resilient, water-wise and sanitation-secure cities.

For more information kindly contact: