Working in partnership with the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and Innovate UK, Global Alliance Africa drives knowledge transfer and collaboration that foster long-lasting, strategic partnerships between Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and the UK. In doing so, it aims to accelerate innovations that promote inclusive economic growth, job creation and reduction of poverty.

Global attempts to address development challenges have undergone a shift in recent years. Whether seeking to create employment opportunities, promote economic growth or reduce poverty, innovation and technology are increasingly viewed as fundamental contributors of solutions to long-term problems. Different players – including the UK government – are taking action.


In August 2018, the UK Government announced its ambitious Innovation Partnerships with Africa to help transform societies by increasing economic participation and creating sustainable jobs and growth through science and innovation. Global Alliance Africa is a pioneer project within this new aid agenda, looking to build on already-strong relationships with Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

“Global Alliance Africa is a refreshing new approach harnessing the collective power of innovators in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and the UK, to drive positive change and create value. it is focused on building long-term partnerships connecting the innovation ecosystems of these four countries, so that innovation stakeholders can come together to share knowledge, learn from each other and work together.”

Janet Geddes, Global Director, Innovate UK




Our Vision

Our long-term ambition is to promote job creation, inclusive growth and poverty reduction through knowledge transfer, skills building and opportunities to support businesses and innovations that deliver scalable impact and sustainable economies.

The overall objectives of Global Alliance Africa are to build stronger UK-African and Pan-African knowledge and innovation partnerships that lead to mutual socio-economic benefits for African partner countries and the UK.

The Global Alliance Africa project is a six-year project funded by UK Aid through Innovate UK (GCRF) and FCDO.

Our approach

Convene: In helping investors, innovators and governments to connect, the Global Alliance Africa will open new doors for job creation and economic growth in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa.

Collaborate: Global Alliance Africa  will work closely with other initiatives from the UK Government to ensure a more aligned approach to UK support for innovation in Africa.

Enable: Through collaboration and training, Global Alliance Africa will create opportunities for champions of innovation to share their work with one another. Global Alliance Africa will not only facilitate new connections but will allow them to grow organically.

Exchange knowledge: By encouraging sharing and learning, we aim to showcase the latest ideas and best practice in innovation ecosystem at local, national and international stages.


Global Alliance Africa Intervention Map
Global Alliance Africa Intervention Map

Place-Based Innovation

Much of the current support and investment in innovation in our partner countries of Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya has concentrated upon particular urban centres.

However, pan-African and many African national innovation strategies cite regional self-sufficiency and resilience as a top priority.

Our own research reinforces that there is a strong demand for the shortening of supply chains, promotion of circular design and better links with the informal sector on a regional scale.

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Open Innovation

The Open Innovation intervention aims to develop and maintain a collaborative culture between industry players and their associated supply chains or government agencies. By applying Innovate UK KTN’s well-established methods for supporting Open Innovation, we will provide a safe space for diverse collaborators to respond to shared industry challenges in a mutually beneficial way.

Challenge holders will be supported in finding innovative solutions to key challenges and identifying collaborative solutions.

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Strengthening the Investment Pipeline

Lack of access to finance can be a major barrier to innovation. Often this has less to do with lack of funding, and more to do with visibility and understanding between sources of funding and innovators seeking that funding. Our Strengthening the Investment Pipeline intervention will work to improve mutual understanding of needs and opportunities between investor and innovator communities through a combination of community and capacity building, upskilling innovation support and match-making activities.

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Innovation Governance Knowledge Exchange

Heavily bureaucratic, or ineffective governance structures inhibiting a quick response under changing circumstances are often a barrier to innovation progress. If innovation governance systems are unable to respond and adapt quickly, they are under-prepared to facilitate the kinds of game-changing innovations needed for rapid development impact.

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