Two Ugandans shortlisted for Africa top innovations prize

Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

Two Ugandan innovators are among 16 Africans shortlisted for the 2019  Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation that was announced on Monday, November 19 in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, now in its fifth edition, recognizes the most promising entrepreneurial engineers from across sub-Saharan Africa.

The group will compete for a £25,000 cash prize and three runners-up will be awarded £10,000 each.

The Ugandans nominated are Anne Rweyora from Smart Havens Africa, a start-up that uses a combination of technologies that help women acquire their first homes affordably and sustainably.

The other is Paul Matovu from the Vertical Farm, a ‘farm-in-a-box’ for urban areas, using urban waste to grow high yielding plants.

Kenyans dominate the list which includes Collince Oluoch who owns Chanjoplus, an online platform that tracks immunization data, helping health workers ensure all children are vaccinated.

The other Kenyan is Kenneth Guantai, who owns Elo-cart, a battery-powered system that recoups energy from motion to self-power handcarts, used by traders, farmers and health workers, has also been listed.

James Ochuka, also from Kenya, has been shortlisted for JuaKaliSmart, an online platform that connects “JuaKali”, or informal artisans, directly to their customers.

Roy Allela from Kenya has been shortlisted under Sign-IO,  a smart-glove that tracks and translates sign language movements into speech in real time.

Beth Koigi also from Kenya is shortlisted under MajikWater – a technique for harvesting water from the air to provide a new source of affordable, clean drinking water for off-grid communities.

George Kumanina completes the list of Kenyans under his SmartBrooder, the system that takes the guess work out of poultry farming, automating heating systems according to animals’ ages.

Other listed are Hybridfive-axis machine tool, Dr. Lukas du Plessis from South Africa – a hybrid machine tool that increases productivity, but costs less than traditional machine tools to manufacture.

The other is KAOSHI, Chukwunonso Arinze from Nigeria – an online platform that exchanges currencies peer-to-peer instead of through banks, cutting costs and waiting periods.

Pelebox Smart Lockers, Neo Hutiri from South Africa – secure temperature-controlled lockers that eliminate medication queuing time for patients.

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SolarKoodo, Safiatou Nana from Burkina Faso – a solar irrigation system that uniquely caters for semi-arid areas where precision and efficiency are essential.

WellNewMe, Dr. Obi Igbokwe from Nigeria – an algorithmic approach to proactively identifying people at risk of contracting non-communicable diseases

Zenafri, Elizabeth Kperrun from Nigeria – an app that teaches toddlers basic language and numeracy skills in their native tongue.

3-D-3-P Industrial dryer, Professor Dele Sanni from Nigeria – an industrial food dryer that dries grain for livestock feed faster, and increases the nutritional value of food stocks.

Baby Delivery Kits, Muzalema Mwanza from Zambia – disposable, affordable and comprehensive equipment that helps midwives deliver babies safely

The shortlist come from six countries, with five female engineers among them.

“The shortlist has come to represent the most talented engineers on the continent,” said Rebecca Enonchong, Africa Prize judge and Cameroonian entrepreneur.

“Through the Africa Prize, we’ve seen cutting edge technologies and world-firsts develop into businesses that manufacture locally, and drive research and development on the continent. We can’t wait to meet the new group of engineering pioneers.”

After seven months’ mentoring and training, four finalists will be selected from the shortlist.

In June 2019 the finalists will present their businesses to judges in front of a live audience in Kampala, after which one winner will receive £25,000, and three runners up will be awarded £10,000 each.


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