The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) announced the establishment of the African Innovation Prize worth USD 100,000 for the winner and USD 50,000 for the runner-up.
The prize will be presented for the first time on 26 March 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the sidelines of a Conference of African Finance Ministers will be meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia later this month to discuss the actions needed to turn Africa into a New Growth Pole for the global economy.
The annual award is designed to promote the pursuit of science, technology and engineering careers among young African men and women and especially to develop innovative solutions with a great potential for commercialisation.
The 2012 IPA will consist of two awards given to the two selected innovators/entrepreneurs in the following three thematic areas: ICTs; Green technology (energy and water); Health & Food security (including Agriculture). The Panel of Judges has already shortlisted seven nominees out of the 458 submissions from 38 countries:
Zeinou Abdelyamine, an industrial chemistry graduate from Algeria and founder of his own company, Bit Bait. He has two patents on manufacturing of insecticides at INAPIin Algeria. He is actively involved in research and development of environmentally friendly insecticides and rodenticides.
Rui Edgar Conceição Bram, Chief of ICT Department at National Police of Angola. He is currently developing the QINet –Digital Network of Qualification” for use in Africa, Latin America and Asia-Pacific region. The program consists of a global platform with a set of integrated applications that allows the automatic introduction, management and distribution of multilingual educational content in electronic or printed format.
Alemayehu Hadis Getahunis an Associate Professor at Jimma University, Ethiopia. He has developed a “Fuel briquette production from coffee husk and pulp – a green and cleaner production approach for coffee waste management.” A carbonizer and an extruder machine were locally designed and fabricated at the Jimma rural technology promotion and research center and used to convert biomasses of coffee waste into fuel briquettes of required dimensions, at a very high rate.
Joel Nwakaire, lecturer in the department of Agricultural and Bioresources Engineering University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He has developed an “optimized automated biodiesel continuous production plant”, which can be used for processing various types of vegetable oils. The plant has been tested using non-edible vegetable oil Algae and Jatropha producing good results.
Mohamed Sanad, professor at the Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Egypt. He has developed a low-cost, lightweight, low wind-load, foldable/deployable, multi-broadband base station antenna; using dual parabolic cylindrical reflectors with novel small size broadband resonant feeds.
Su Kahumbu Stephanou, social entrepreneur and founder of Green Dreams Ltd and Green Dreams Tech Ltd companies based in Kenya. She has developed the iCowapplication, which is an SMS and voice-based mobile phone application for small-scale farmers in Africa.
Evans Muchika Wadongo, founding Chair and Executive Director of Sustainable Development For All-Kenya (S.D.F.A-Kenya). He has developed the ‘Use Solar, Save Lives’ program which involves the design, production and distribution of Solar Powered Lanterns dubbed “Mwanga Bora” to poor rural households without electricity, and he helps communities set up economic ventures from the money initially spent on kerosene.
This annual prize honors and encourages innovative achievements that contribute toward developing new products, increasing efficiency or saving costs in Africa. IPA acknowledges and encourages innovators and entrepreneurs in their endeavors, since they are one group of stakeholders that have not been considered under Africa’s development cooperation agenda.