The 2018 shortlist for the Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation is out and it includes innovators working to make malaria and reproductive health tests easier, using dolphin-inspired echo-location for visually impaired people, and recovering precious metals from car parts for re-use in manufacturing.
Launched in 2014 by the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Africa Prize is a six-month programme providing funding, business training and mentoring to each of the 16 engineers selected.
“The Africa Prize recognises talented engineers from across the continent – supporting countries that aren’t typically seen as a source of innovation,” said Rebecca Enonchong, Africa Prize judge. “This diversity helps drive more innovation during the programme, amplifying their potential for real economic and social impact.”
After six months of mentoring and training, four finalists will be selected from the shortlist. In June 2018 the finalists will present their businesses to judges in front of a live audience, after which one winner will receive £25,000, and three runners up will be awarded £10,000 each.
The shortlisted candidates are:
- Alvin Kabwama from Uganda with UriSAF Maternal and Sexual Reproductive Health Care Kit, which tests urine quickly, accurately and affordably
- Arthur Woniala from Uganda with Khainza Energy Gas, a cheap biogas made from manure and safe for household use
- Brian Gitta from Uganda with Matibabu, a low-cost reusable device that tests for malaria quickly and accurately without drawing blood
- Brian Mwiti Mwenda from Kenya with The Sixth Sense, a handheld echolocation device with ultrasonic sensors that alert visually impaired users to objects nearby
- Collins Tatenda Saguru from South Africa with an economical, environmentally sustainable process to recover and re-use precious metals from cars
- Daniel Taylor from Ghana with HWESOMAME, a low-cost smart sensor that accurately detects soil conditions and notifies farmers via text or phone call
- Emeka Nwachinemere from Nigeria with Kitovu, an online platform that helps farmers in remote locations to increase crop yields and sell their produce
- Esther Gacicio from Kenya with eLearning Solutions, an interactive online programme that hosts courses for individuals or serves as a tool for training institutions
- Ifediora Emmanuel Ugochukwu from Nigeria with the iMeter and AMI solution, which gives electricity consumers and power utilities control over electricity use
- Lawrence Okettayot from Uganda with Sparky Dryer, a low-tech dehydrator that dries fruit and vegetables to extend their shelf life and reduce food wastage
- Michael Asante-Afrifa from Ghana with Science Set, a mini science lab with all the materials needed to do the science experiments in a school syllabus
- Monicah Mumbi Wambugu from Kenya with Loanbee, a mobile phone application that calculates the user’s credit scores and grants micro-loans
- Nges Njungle from Cameroon with Muzikol, an online music marketing and social media app designed to meet all the career needs of musicians
- Nnaemeka Chidiebere Ikegwuono from Nigeria with ColdHubs, solar-powered walk-in cold rooms that extend the life of perishable food tenfold
- Peter Kariuki from Rwanda with SafeMotos, an app that connects commuters to the safest motorcycle drivers in Kigali, Rwanda
- Shalton Mphodisa Mothwa from South Africa with AEON Power Bag, which allows users to charge their phones on the go by converting radio waves and solar energy into power.