The 4 startups were among the 12 African entrepreneurs chosen to receive six months of business training and mentoring from the Academy and stand chance win the £25,000 grand prize to be awarded at a ceremony in Cape Town on 1 June. Each will receive at least £10,000.
The four finalists are Tanzania’s Dr Askwar Hilonga for his low-cost sustainable water filtration system, South Africa’s Ernst Pretorius for a fence-mounted security system which warns owners of fires or intruders and Zambia’s Musenga Silwawa and team for their spot fertiliser applicator.
Apart from finalists, the eight other shortlisted innovations from the first Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, the innovators of which also received six months of mentorship and training, are:
- A smart burglar-bar system for emergency exits from buildings (by Captain Abubakar Imam from Nigeria)
- A mobile device application that teaches children how to read Shona (by Ian Mutamiri and team from Zimbabwe)
- An affordable multi-purpose degreaser/cleaner (by Justin Nwaogwugwu from Nigeria)
- A full-cycle sanitation service to reduce pollution to the environment and prevent diarrheal disease (by Samuel Malinga and team from Uganda)
- Portable crushing machines for small and medium size mining operations (by Rujeko Masike and team from Zimbabwe)
- A mobile application for merchants and customers to make and receive card payments through their phones and tablets (by Ayodele Adigun and team from Nigeria)
- The mechanical pressing of bananas to produce enzyme-free clear banana juice (by Dr Oscar Kibazohi and team from Tanzania)
- An industrial process and quality control system for the fluids manufacturing industry (by Dr Reinhardt Kotzé and team from South Africa).
The Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation is generously supported by the Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund, Consolidated Contractors Company, ConocoPhillips and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
Applications for 2015/2016 have opened today for engineers living and working in sub-Saharan Africa. Details on applying can be found on the Academy’s website.