The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) today announced the top 10 nominees who will be contending for the 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa. The winners will be announced in Accra, Ghana on 18th July 2017 and will see innovators from nine African countries including Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Liberia, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe battle it out for the prestigious Prize.
This year’s innovators have demonstrated incredible proficiency through innovative solutions addressing challenges in agriculture value chain, health care, energy, communications, service industries as well as surveillance using drone technology.
This year’s cream of the crop underwent a rigorous selection process by a renowned panel of judges including corporates, academia, technology and scientific experts representing top African innovation influencers.
The inspiring stories of these nominees remind us that innovation and African-led solutions are indeed the answer to Africa’s growth and prosperity.” said Walter Fust, AIF Chairman of the Board.
The Awards, now celebrating its sixth year under the theme “African Innovation: Investing in Prosperity”, IPA offers contenders a shot at a grand share-prize of US$185 000 and incentives to spur growth and prosperity in Africa through home-grown solutions.
IPA has seen tremendous growth in applications and increasing interest from both innovators and innovation enablers over the years. To date, IPA has attracted more than 7 500 innovators from 52 African countries, making it a truly Pan African initiative. IPA 2017 edition witnessed a record number of entries from over 2 530 innovators across 48 African countries. The Foundation has supported past winners and nominees with approximately US$ 1 million to move their innovations forward. Due to exposure generated by IPA, past winners have gone on to secure over US$30 million in investments to grow and scale their businesses.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to work with our partners to ensure the innovations of the 10 nominees will be available to African markets and beyond. We invite you to join us and unlock the potential of African innovators, starting by investing in these 10 nominees.” said Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl, IPA Director.
AIF will host the IPA 2017 awards ceremony and its second Innovation Ecosystems Connector on 17 and 18 July in Accra, Ghana. The event will focus on how innovation enablers and businesses can leverage funding streams, investments and resources that are critical to unlock potential of African innovators. Participants at the IPA Awards will get an opportunity to attend the official opening of IPA 2017, experience the innovation marketplace, join high-level roundtable discussions, Zua Hub meet-ups, and networking activities, ending with a celebration of African ingenuity when the IPA 2017 winners will be announced.
The 10 nominees:
- Peris Bosire, Kenya: FarmDrive
FarmDrive is a financial technology company that has developed a mobile phone based application that collects data and provides an alternative risk assessment model for small holder farmers.
- Nokwethu Khojane, South Africa: Lakheni, Turning Social Capital into Buying Power
Lakheni is a social and business model innovation which seeks to aggregate low-income households into buying-groups in order to negotiate favourable discounts for goods and services supplied to these households.
- Omolabake Adenle, Nigeria: Voice Recognition and Speech Synthesis Software for African Languages
This is a software solution that can understand and digitize spoken African languages, and synthesize speech from African languages presented as digitized text.
- Nzola Swasisa, Democratic Republic of Congo: Lokole
Lokole, is a device that enables access to efficient email communication anywhere with cellular coverage at a price that is one hundred to one thousand times cheaper than accessing email via regular cellular bandwidth costs.
- Badr Idriss, Morocco: Atlan Space
Atlan Space develops software technology that is then deployed to manage the operations of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones.
- Aly El-Shafei, Egypt: Smart Electro-Mechanical Actuator Journal Integrated Bearing “SEMAJIB”
The patented innovation (SEMAJIB) presented by Dr. El-Shafei, is a smart bearing which is versatile and can change its characteristics as it operates.
- Dougbeh-Chris Nyan, Liberia: New Technology for Rapid Detection of Many Infections Using Only One Test
This is a rapid diagnostic test that can detect and simultaneously differentiate at least three to seven infections at the same time within 10 to 40 minutes.
- Olanisun Olufemi Adewole, Nigeria: Sweat TB Test, A non-invasive rapid skin test to detect Tuberculosis Sweat TB Test, is a non-invasive rapid diagnostic test to detect tuberculosis (TB). TB is second only to HIV/AIDS as a leading cause of death in Africa.
- Gift Gana, Zimbabwe: Dr. CADx Dr CADx is a software solution that helps doctors and health care workers diagnose medical images more accurately.
- Philippa Ngaju Makobore, Uganda: Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set (ECGF) The Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set (ECGF) is medical device designed to accurately administer intravenous (IV) fluids and drugs by controlling the rate of fluid flow based on feedback from a drop sensor.