Sixteen entrepreneurs have been identified for their innovative and inventive capacity, and are shortlisted for the 2018 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.
They’re being recognized as African tech pioneers by the U.K.’s Royal Academy of Engineering. Now in its fourth year, the Africa Prize equips talented engineers with tools and expert advice to take their innovations further and develop them into businesses.
Only two of the 16 nominees are women, partly because men dominate many of the disciplines from which these innovations emerge in African countries.
The Africa Prize is supported by The Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund and the U.K. Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund.
Here are the 16 entrepreneurs shortlisted for the 2018 Africa Prize For Engineering Innovation.
Alvin Kabwama is a 24-year-old electronics engineer from Uganda who has qualified for this nomination thanks to UriSAF, which uses pH and infrared sensors to test urine for infections quickly, accurately and affordably, assisting in making African healthcare more efficient, even in remote areas.
Innovation: Khainza Energy Gas
Another of the entrepreneurs on this list from Uganda is Arthur Woniala, a mechanical engineer with Khainza Energy Gas, a cheap and efficient biogas made from manure and safe for household use
Brian Gitta is a 24-year-old computer scientist from Uganda with an ingenious medical innovation called Matibabu, a low-cost reusable device that tests for malaria quickly and accurately without the need to draw blood. The non-invasive diagnostic kit connects to a mobile application.
Innovation: The Sixth Sense
An 21-year-old entrepreneur from Kenya is responsible for a new innovative which will help the visually impaired. Brian Mwenda is an electronics engineer with The Sixth Sense, a handheld echolocation device with ultrasonic sensors that alert visually impaired users to objects nearby
South African Collins Saguru is a 27-year-old chemical engineer from South Africa with AltMet, an economical, environmentally sustainable process used to recover and re-use precious metals from cars. This innovation can have an excellent impact on the environment.
Daniel Taylor, an electronics engineering student from Ghana with HWESOMAME, received a nomination for this award thanks to his work on a low-cost smart sensor that accurately detects soil conditions and notifies farmers via text or phone call.
Emeka Nwachinemere is a 31-year-old mechanical engineer from Nigeria with Kitovu, an online platform that helps farmers in remote locations to increase crop yields and sell their produce. The way in which this is achieved involves the provision of a number of interesting products designed with farmers in mind.
Innovation: eLearning Solutions
One of only two women within this shortlist, Esther Gacicio is an education specialist from Kenya with eLearning Solutions, an interactive online program that hosts courses for individuals or serves as a tool for training institutions.
Ifediora Ugochukwu is an electronics engineer from Nigeria with iMeter, which gives electricity consumers and power utilities control over their electricity use. The 33-year-old won 2016 ITU Telecom World Recognition for Excellence Award.
Innovation: Sparky Dryer
Another shortlisted candidate from Uganda, 22-year-old Lawrence Okettayot is a mechanical engineer and the innovator behind Sparky Dryer, a low-tech dehydrator that dries fruit and vegetables to extend their shelf life and reduce food wastage.
Innovation: Science Set
Passionate about education and science in particular, Ghanaian Michael Asante-Afrifa invented Science Set, a mini science lab with all the materials needed to do the science experiments in a school syllabus. The mechanical engineer is therefore being recognized for his innovation.
Only the second woman on this list, 28-year-old Monicah Wambugu is a computer scientist from Kenya. She is the bright mind behind Loanbee, a mobile phone application that calculates the user’s credit scores and grants micro-loans
Nges Njungle is a 21-year-old computer engineering student from Cameroon with Muzikol, an online music marketing and social media app designed to meet all the career needs of musicians in the country and beyond.
Yet another Nigerian on this list is 35-year-old social entrepreneur, Nnaemeka Ikegwuono. The Nigerian is also a farmer, and he has come up with ColdHubs, solar-powered walk-in cold rooms that extend the life of perishable food tenfold.
Rwandan Peter Kariuki is the software engineer that co-founded SafeMotos, a smartphone app that allows customers to order motorcycle taxis to their desired pickup location. The company recently revealed that it has crowdsourced funding to help it find and train female moto-taxi drivers.
Innovation: AEON Power Bag
Shalton Mothwa came up with an innovation that is incredibly useful. The 30-year-old nuclear physicist from South Africa invented the AEON Power Bag, which allows users to charge their phones on the go by converting radio waves and solar energy into power. The laptop bag harnesses ambient telecoms signals and converts them into electrical energy.
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