Innovation: Africa

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Innovation: Africa
Founded 2008
Founder Sivan Borowich-Ya'ari
Type 501(c)(3)
Area served
Services Solar panels, agricultural and solar technology, water pumps, and refrigerators
Mission Bringing innovative Israeli technologies to rural African villages

Innovation: Africa is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that brings Israeli solar, water and agricultural innovations to rural African villages. Founded in 2008, Innovation: Africa has completed over 130 projects provided light, clean water, food and proper medical care to over 1 million people in communities throughout Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi, Uganda, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegal.[1]


Innovation: Africa was founded by Sivan Borowich Ya'ari in 2008 and was originally called Jewish Heart for Africa.[2] Ya'ari received her bachelor's degree in Finance and interned for a time with Morgan Stanley.[3] While in her twenties and working with a denim manufacturer, she was sent to Africa on business and was moved by the people she saw suffering from hunger and a lack of clean water. Born in Israel and raised in Nice, France,[4] Ya'ari initially conceived and identified an opportunity as a master's student in International Energy Management and Policy at Columbia University and while working with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).[5][6] for a more sustainable energy solution, and developed the groundwork for what would become Innovation: Africa. Having worked in Africa for over 18 years and running Innovation: Africa for the past 9 years, Sivan has vast knowledge, understanding and love for the African continent. Through her work, over 1,000,000 lives in Africa have been impacted, thanks to Israeli innovation and multiple awards have been received, including the Innovation Award from the United Nations. Ya'ari has been recognized as one of the "40 Under 40 Most Promising Israelis" by Globes magazine and one of the "50 Most Influential Women in Israel by Forbes Israel. Aside from Innovation: Africa, Ya'ari also is a prominent business woman in Israel, owning multiple businesses and employs 140 women across the country. Ya'ari lives in Tel Aviv with her husband and 3 children.


Innovation: Africa has completed over 130 projects across seven countries: 78 projects in Uganda, 25 projects in Malawi, 16 projects in Tanzania, 4 in Senegal, 3 in the Congo and 1 project each in Ethiopia and South Africa.[7] One of Innovation: Africa most common projects is using solar-powered water pumps and applying Israeli agricultural practices such as drip irrigation to make agriculture possible in regions of drought.[5] This provides a source of income to farmers and their families who otherwise wouldn't have been able to farm.[8] These solar-powered water pumping systems tap into the vast water that is underground and pumps up to 5,000 gallons of it per day to large tanks, where the water is distributed throughout a village and the drip irrigation process. Innovation: Africa's projects also include lighting for schools, orphanages and medical clinics and refrigerators for vaccines. These solar refrigerators have helped more than 350,000 children get vaccines for diseases like tetanus, tuberculosis, diphtheria, measles.[8] Innovation: Africa's partners include former NBA star, Dikembe Mutombo, who partnered up with the organization to provide electricity for a hospital in his hometown of Kinshasa in the Congo.[9] Overall, Innovation: Africa's projects have helped over 1 million people throughout Africa.[10]

U.S. Programs[edit]

Innovation: Africa also offers a range of educational and social programming in the United States. They hold regular presentations about the challenges facing African development and the power of Israeli technologies to help. They have also has worked with various groups on college campuses. For example, the Alpha Epsilon Pi chapter at MIT raised money in May 2015 for i:A.[11] Innovation: Africa also has a Mitzvah campaign where it partners with B'nei Mitzvah kids and helps them raise money for their projects, which include solar lighting for schools and also solar-powered water pumps.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sharon, Udasin (7 June 2012). "Jewish Heart for Africa finishes 58th solar project". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Waldoks, Ehud Zion (19 October 2008). "'Jewish Heart for Africa'". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Lan, Shlomit (17 June 2010). באנרגיות חיוביות. Globes (in Hebrew). Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Cantor, Danielle. "Jewish HERoes: Sivan Borowich-Ya'ari". Jewish Woman Magazine. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "An Israeli heart shines its light in Africa". Israel21c. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "projects". Retrieved 2015-08-05. 
  8. ^ a b "Innovation: Africa brings Israeli solar, water tech to African villagers". From the Grapevine. Retrieved 2015-08-04. 
  9. ^ "NBA legend Mutombo, Israelis team up to help Africa". Retrieved 2015-08-04. 
  10. ^ "Innovation:Africa brings Israeli technology to African villages". Retrieved 2015-08-04. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "The Bar Mitzvah Gift that Keeps on Giving". New Voices. Retrieved 2015-08-04. 

External links[edit]