Youth are Africa’s greatest asset. Africa’s youth population is rapidly growing and expected to double to over 830 million by 2050. If properly harnessed, this increase in the working age population could support increased productivity and stronger, more inclusive economic growth across the continent.

In response to this need, the British Council has developed and designed the Innovation for African Universities (IAU) project to foster the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship within universities and facilitate the development of skills required to build industries, companies, products and services. The project is designed to support the development of Africa – UK University Partnerships that build institutional capacity for HE engagement in entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems in selected African countries.

Phase Two: Call for Network partnerships

The British Council has launched the Innovation for African Universities (IAU) programme aimed at strengthening the capacity of Universities to participate and provide meaningful contributions as key players within the entrepreneurship ecosystem  in their respective regions.

The programme will be delivered by a Centre of Excellence consisting of tripartite partners – University of Nairobi, City University of London and Change School London

We are inviting Universities from the UK, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa to apply as Network partnerships. Network partners will be engaged through a community of practice, exchanging knowledge and ideas that improve their understanding of the roles of universities in entrepreneurship ecosystems, while fostering a culture of innovation among themselves.

Funding of up to £60,000 is available to support each mutually beneficial partnership to respond to an identified problem around systems strengthening, entrepreneurship, youth employability, climate change and digital innovation. 

For further information on the opportunity, please refer to the Call for Network partnerships - Terms of reference and guidance documents, found in our Downloads section below.

Who can apply?

This opportunity is open to universities and entrepreneurship ecosystem players from the following countries:

  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • UK

For a full overview of eligibility criteria, please refer to the Terms of Reference.

Clarification sessions

How to apply

All applications including supporting documents must be submitted through the application portal.

Please refer to and complete the required documentation, found in the Downloads section below, including:

  • Call for Network Partnerships – Terms of Reference
  • Application guidelines  (for reference only – do not submit the application guidelines document)
  • Application glossary
  • Budget template
  • Phase 1 plan template
  • Phase 1 risk register template

Apply now


Deadline for submission is 5pm (UK time) on Friday 06 August 2021.

Applications not received through the portal or after this deadline will not be accepted.

Frequently Asked Questions

Access the FAQ's here

List of Institutions interested in finding Partners