Sixteen talented entrepreneurs were selected from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Republic of Congo, Togo and Uganda. This includes the award’s first Togolese and Congolese innovators, with nine countries represented in total.
For the first time, half of the 16 shortlisted candidates are women, including the first Ethiopian woman to be shortlisted for the award.
The shortlist ranges from an off-grid neonatal cradle for babies with jaundice and a portable vaccine refrigerator to a gas-powered hydrogen fuel cell generator and natural plant-based fiber that cleans up spills. of oil.
The Africa Prize is managed by the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK and recognizes crucial commercialization support to African innovators who tackle local challenges with scalable engineering solutions.
The Africa Prize has a reputation for identifying high-potential engineering entrepreneurs, many of whom have experienced greater commercial success and social impact. A network of alumni of over 102 social entrepreneurs across Africa is expected to impact more than three million lives over the next five years. They have already created more than 1,500 jobs and raised more than $ 14 million in grants and equity.
A one-time support package, from November 2021 to June 2022, is provided to shortlisted innovators this year to help them accelerate their businesses. Benefits of selection include comprehensive and tailored business training, tailored mentoring, media and communications training. The program also provides funding and access to the Academy’s global network of senior and experienced engineers and business experts, as well as access to the alumni network upon completion of the program.
For the second year in a row, the program will be offered as a digital experience, with intensive support provided through individual and group sessions. Where possible, sessions can also be held in person. After this period of support, four finalists will be selected and invited to present their enhanced innovation and business plan to the judges and a live audience. One winner will be selected to receive £ 25,000 and three finalists will receive £ 10,000 each. An additional One-to-Watch Prize of £ 5,000 will go to the Most Promising Innovator, as selected by the live audience.
“Once again, we received an inspiring number of nominations for the Africa Prize. This year’s shortlist shows how technology can be used to drive development from the local level, and we look forward to helping these innovators expand their impact across Africa, ”said Jean Lazar CBE FREng, Africa Prize judge.
This year’s shortlist includes several medical innovations, including an off-grid smart neonatal cradle to treat newborns with jaundice, a device that maps a patient’s veins to their skin to help nurses insert drops or to draw blood, a system that helps nurses monitor patients and improve their workflow; and a solar-powered mobile refrigerator that keeps vaccines cool in the field.
Other companies have developed commercial packaging from a variety of agricultural wastes, turned invasive plants into absorbent fiber used to clean up oil spills on land and in water, and created an aquaponics starter kit for grow their own fish and crops at home, with a remote monitoring system and online market.
Also on the shortlist are contractors working on smokeless stoves made from scrap metal, a cold storage system for off-grid farming communities, a fuel cell hydrogen generator running on LPG gas, and a Mini-grid monitoring to help utilities and mini-grid operators manage solar installations.
Other innovations provide communities with an online platform to exchange second-hand goods like appliances, clothing and more, using virtual currency. A common outdoor, off-grid workspace provides students with access to WiFi and electricity, and a prepaid bank card that requires no bank account and can be used around the world provides non-bank access to online purchases. online and mobile money. Finally, an online platform helps small business owners hire and manage freelancers across a range of disciplines, outsourcing skills that are not part of their core business.
Here is the full list of selected technologies and candidates:
A-Lite Vein Locator, Julius Mubiru, Uganda — A device that traces patients’ veins like shadows on their skin, helping medical staff insert a drip or draw blood more easily.
Agelgil, Afomia Andualem, Ethiopia — A sustainable line of packaging and tableware made from agricultural by-products such as barley and wheat straw.
Aquaponics Center, Lawrencia Kwansah, Ghana — A kit for new users to set up their own aquaponics system, with smart sensors to monitor crops and fish, and an online marketplace to sell products.
Bleagle, Juveline ngum, Cameroon — A sustainable cooking system that includes a smokeless cooker made from recycled scrap metal, bio-briquettes and an off-grid biodigester.
Coldbox store, Adekoyejo Kuye, Nigeria — An off-grid cold storage solution that allows farmers to store and sell fresh produce without relying on the electricity grid.
Cradle A’Glow, Vertu Oboro, Nigeria — Collapsible phototherapy nurseries that treat jaundice in newborns. The cradle can run on solar or grid energy and monitor the baby’s condition.
Genesis Care, Catherine wanjoya, Kenya — A system for the distribution and subsequent disposal of feminine hygiene products. The system is set up to give young girls access to affordable products.
HoBeei, Mariam Eluma, Nigeria — A free-cycle online platform where users can download unwanted or unused items in exchange for virtual currency with which to purchase other goods.
HYENA POWER POD, Jack Fletcher, South Africa — A fuel cell hydrogen generator that converts LPG gas into usable electricity, all in one device.
Kukua, Divine Kouebatouka, Republic of the Congo — A process that turns the invasive water hyacinth plant into an absorbent fiber that can clean up oil spills and stop oil from leaking to land or water.
Peec REM, Philippe Kyeswa, Uganda — A remote monitoring and measurement system for off-grid solar installations. It also alerts utilities of breakdowns or tampering.
SolarPocha, Oluwatobi Oyinlola, Nigeria — An outdoor workstation, a solar-powered space where students can connect to Wi-Fi and off-grid electricity.
Solimi prepaid card, Gaël Matina Egbidi, Togo — A prepaid card backed by a Visa card that does not require users to bank with a specific bank, allowing unbanked people to shop online and collect cash mobile.
TelMi, Fabrice Teuche, Cameroon — A collection of devices that help nurses monitor patients, respond to alarms and collect data to improve workflow and response times.
TERAWORK, Femi Taiwo, Nigeria — An online platform that connects users to freelancers, so small business owners can securely find and outsource key skills like coding and accounting.
VacciBox, Norah magero, Kenya — A portable solar-powered refrigerator that safely stores heat-sensitive drugs such as vaccines, for use by travel clinics and for transport.