South Africa, Togo, Ethiopia Win Innovation Prize For Africa

South Africa, Togo, Ethiopia Win Innovation Prize For Africa

Two South Africans won $100,000 for their creation — the world’s first injectable regenerating bone-graft substitute — in a competition that rewards groundbreaking innovations in Africa, BusinessGhana reports.

South Africans Dr. Nicolaas Duneas and Nuno Peres won first place for advances in medicine in the Innovation Prize For Africa. Innovators from Togo and Ethiopia were runners up.

The awards ceremony was co-hosted by the African Innovation Foundation and the federal government of Nigeria.

Logou Minsob of Togo won $25,000 for his foufou mix, a food processor designed to replace the pestle and mortar used to prepare foufou, a popular West African dish.

Melesse Temesgen of Ethiopia won $25,000 for developing the Aybar broad-based furrow maker, a low-cost farming device used to drain excess water from waterlogged fields.

The Altis osteogenic bone matrix is derived from pigs and is considered an innovative product for the treatment of bone
injuries and voids using a regenerative biological implant, BusinessGhana reports.

Duneas’ and Peres’ creation was selected from about 700 applications from 42 countries. Before the Altis osteogenic bone matrix was invented, patients with bone trauma or degradation had to have bone tissue grafted from their own hips in the hopes of undergoing successful bone crafting surgery — an invasive method. The osteogenic bone matrix injection leads to rapid, safe and effective healing and natural restoration of the bone, including the bone marrow, the report said. It’s also cheap to make, since it comes from mammals.

Winners were chosen based on originality, marketability, social impact and business potential of their innovations.

The awards focus on investing in homegrown innovation. The African Innovation Foundation believes that the best solutions to the challenges Africans face daily will come from Africans, according to the report.

Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais is the founder of the African Innovation Foundation and the IPA.