Innovate Kenya is an idea competition organized by Global Minimum Inc(GMIn), a charitable international organization that encourages young innovators and leaders in Africa to engage with critical thinking skills and hands-on learning programs to tackle challenges affecting their communities. It provides them with enabling tools, safe spaces, workshops, mentorship, resources and network, ultimately equipping young people in Africa with unique opportunities to take their future into their own hands. Their program is currently working with young people between the ages of 15-20 in Sierra Leone, Kenya, and previously in South Africa.
In the latest round of Innovate Kenya competition, the first of 2018, Global Minimum Inc received more than 300 high school students’ applications from all over Kenya, who contributed to over 90 of the received applications. THe students proposed viable solutions to pressing problems in the country, more specifically, in their communities. Here are the 34 finalists (with 12 projects amongst them) that made it through the first round.
Hydraulic Hydroelectric Pump
Pumwani Boys High School built a solar-powered machine that enables the production of hydroelectric power in rivers. The machine operates using electromagnetic principles to increase the Kinetic energy in the river yielding significant electricity from relatively small rivers and high electricity from larger rivers.
My Trans Toto App
Menengai High School built a mobile application for schools and parents that will enhance efficient pick-up and drop-offs for commuting students. The application will ensure parents can track their children on their way to and from school and the schools can notify the parents when their students are picked from school.
Nova Pioneer Boys developed Farsight, a holographic display technology solution that will assist doctors to examine their patients. The imaging system will provide a clear visualization of patients’ structure before surgery increasing chances of successful surgery while saving time.
Mubere Secondary School team is commercializing the Croton tree by using croton nuts to produce biodiesel. The community will also benefit from the high protein animal feeds and Nitrogen-rich fertilizer made from croton nuts.
Precious Blood Riruta built a mobile application that aims to reduce road accidents caused by reckless drivers in Kenya. The app, once installed, gives the user the ability to report the reckless driver to the relevant authorities while maintaining anonymity.
Nova Pioneer Girls developed an application that gives students access to a database of all universities, their entry requirements and available courses with their details. The app will increase awareness among students leading to informed choices regarding their higher education.
Wildlife Sniffer Fence
Maranda High School developed a system that monitors the movement of wildlife out of the park using photocells and a weighbridge. The system notifies a rapid response team whenever an animal leaves the park. The sniffer fence will help eliminate conflict between humans and wildlife and increase wildlife conservation.
Electric Arc Furnace
Agape Hope School came up with an environment-friendly way to recycle steel using carbon electrodes. The solution will reduce industrial pollution by toxic gases like sulfur dioxide.
Precious Blood Riruta students developed a mobile application that aims to eradicate tax-related fraud in the government to boost the country’s economy. Through the app, revenue authorities can track their transactions within the country and in foreign markets, and keep financial records of all working adults.
Solar-Powered Water Purifier
Loreto Convent Msongari built a water purifier that utilizes the UV-rays in sunlight to eliminate microbes in water, making it safe for consumption. The solution is suitable for a wide range of settings including rural areas, cities, and areas without access to electricity.
Riruta Satellite students developed a mobile application that links young entrepreneurs to potential investors in the market. The app will promote information and idea sharing among communities and encourage people to build solutions to challenges they face.
Indomitable Blind Aid
Nembu Girls High School from Nairobi County developed a cane aid for the blind that will help them navigate by detecting obstructions in their way. The cane will use advanced sensors to communicate to the user and will be customized to the user’s preference.
Each finalist team was invited to a 1-week innovation camp from April 8th – April 14th, 2018 where they underwent training on design thinking, leadership, had community outings, and rigorous technical training and exploration in their area of interest. Each finalist team received $500 to build a prototype for their solutions, which they then exhibited and presented during the Innovation Camp on April 14th of this year.