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Africa is a continent full of incredibly innovative thinkers and the latest reminder of that fact comes courtesy of the the Innovation Prize for Africa. The competition, now in its fifth year, has announced the 10 finalists for the 2016 awards, set to be held in Gabarone, Botswana towards the end of June.
The entrepreneurs in the top 10 work in a wide variety of fields but, broadly speaking, are concentrated in the agriculture, medicine and tech/clean energy spaces.
“In the past five years, I’ve seen innovation grow from a mere buzzword to a sturdy path for African growth in multi-disciplinary industries across the continent. As Africans, we have the talent, potential and clout to solve our own problems with ingenuity too, and IPA is testimony of this,” said IPA Director Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl.
This particular group of innovators hail from Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, Benin and Nigeria and were whittled down from 985 successful submissions from 46 African countries.
From here, the 10 finalists will go through a number of pitching sessions and one-on-ones with the judges before the top three winners are announced at a gala ceremony.
Safi Sarvi Organics (Kenya) — Samuel Rigue
Safi Sarvi Organics makes a low-cost fertiliser made from organic products and harvest waste that can improve yields by up to 30 percent.
The Tryctor (Lagos, Nigeria) — Olufemi Odeleye
The Tryctor is a three-wheeled, mini-tractor based on a motorcycle, to which various farming implements can be attached, and aimed at small-scale farmers.
Developed by Olufemi Odeleye an automotive engineer from Lagos, Nigeria, it is easy-to-use and cheaper to maintain as 60 percent of its parts and components are locally sourced.
Exatype (South Africa) – Dr. Imogen Wright
Exatype is software that enables healthcare workers to determine which antiretroviral (ARV) drug treatments their HIV-positive patients would be most responsive.
Green Tower (South Africa) – Andre Nel
Green Tower is an off-grid water heating and air conditioning solution that uses advanced thermodynamics to create up to 90 percent savings in electricity consumption.
PowerGuard (South Africa) – Johan Theron
PowerGuard enables consumers to work out the maximum amount of electricity they need for their homes or businesses
Tuteria (Lagos, Nigeria) – Godwin Benson
Tuteria is an online platform that connects people who are seeking to learn anything with those who live near them and are available to teach them.
The Plate Package (PLPAK) (Egypt) – Dr. Youssef Rashed
The Plate Package is software package perform structural analysis of the technical drawings or designs of a building to check if the slabs and foundations will be structurally sound. It was conceived of by Dr. Youssef Rashed, a professor of Structural Engineering at Cairo University.
Api-Palu (Benin) – Dr. Valentin Agon
Api-Palu is an anti-malaria drug treatment that is extracted from an abundantly available plant in Africa
Aceso (South Africa) — Dr. Kit Vaughan
Aceso is an imaging technology that is capable of performing full-field digital mammography and automated breast ultrasound. This is done at the same time therefore dramatically improving breast cancer detection. It was developed by Dr Kit Vaughan, CEO of CapeRay Medical and a biomedical engineer from Cape Town, South Africa.
The Urine Test for Malaria (UMT) (Nigeria) – Dr. Eddy Agbo
The UMT is a non-blood diagnostic medical device that can tell in 25 minutes or less whether a patient has malaria. It was developed by Dr Eddy Agbo a molecular biologist from Nigeria and CEO of Fyodor Technologies.