African Innovation Foundation announces finalists of its Innovation Prize for Africa


The African Innovation Foundation, an organization which works to increase the prosperity of Africans by catalysing the innovation spirit in Africa, has announced the finalists of its Innovation Prize for Africa.

Innovation Prize for Africa seeks to strengthen African innovation ecosystems and spur the growth of market-driven African solutions to African challenges.

In no particular order, the finalists and their innovations are described below.

  • Johan Theron, South Africa: PowerGuard enables consumers to determine the maximum amount of power supply required for daily operations.
  • Andre Nel, South Africa: Green Tower is an off-grid water heating and air conditioning solution based on solar power that uses advanced thermos-dynamics to create up to 90% savings in electricity consumption.
  • Samuel Rigu, Kenya: Safi Sarvi Organics is a low-cost fertilizer made from purely organic products and waste from farm harvests, designed to improve yields for farmers by up to 30%.
  • Olufemi Odeleye, Nigeria: The Tryctor is a mini tractor modelled on the motorcycle. By attaching various farming implements, it can carry out similar operations as a conventional tractor to a smaller scale.
  • Godwin Benson, Nigeria: Tuteria is an innovative peer-to-peer learning online platform that allows people who want to learn any skill, whether formal or informal, to connect with anyone else in proximity who is offering that skill.
  • Dr. Youssef Rashed, Egypt: The Plate Package (PLPAK) is a robust software solution that assesses the architecture of building plans or technical drawings, determining structural integrity of the end design.
  • Dr. Kit Vaughan, South Africa: Aceso is an imaging technology, capable of performing full-field digital mammography and automated breast ultrasound at the same time, dramatically improving breast cancer detection.
  • Dr. Imogen Wright, South Africa: Exatype is a software solution that enables healthcare workers to determine HIV positive patients’ responsiveness to ARV drug treatment.
  • Valentin Agon, Benin: Api-Palu is an anti-malaria drug treatment developed out of natural plant extract.
  • Dr. Eddy Agbo, Nigeria: Urine Test for Malaria (UMT) is a rapid non-blood diagnostic medical device that can diagnose malaria in less than 25 minutes.

The 10 finalists were selected from 985 successful submissions from 46 African countries through a rigorous process that included pre-screening, screening, preliminary assessment by judges, selection meeting panel et al.

“As we celebrate the five year IPA journey, our mission to engage, inspire and transform is evident in the IPA process – from the growing registrations, to the level of talent and ingenuity we see in the nominees, as well as the enthusiasm from our expert judges in seeing these innovations at work to solve some of Africa’s intractable challenges. Now while we await announcement of the winner, we call on all innovation enablers to join hands with us to unlock the potential of these nominees,” said Walter Fust, Chairman of the AIF Board.

The finalists will, for the last time, pitch in front of an expert panel of IPA judges who will go on to select the top three winners.

The first prize winner will receive US$25,000 while the second prize winner. A special prize of US$25,000 will be awarded to the innovation considered to have the greatest social impact, and a US$5000 voucher will be awarded to each nominee as a post-prize technical support to assist in moving their innovation to the next level.

The winners will be announced at a special gala ceremony on June 23, 2016 at the Gaborone International Conference Centre (GICC).

The Innovation Prize for Africa is an initiative of the African Innovation Foundation. It was started in 2011 and has been held in Addis Ababa (2012), Cape Town (2013), Abuja (2014) and Skhirat, Morroco (2015).

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