Norah Magero, a Kenyan female engineer based in the UK has made history in the United Kingdom after she became the first Kenyan and the second woman to win the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize.
Norah innovated VacciBox, a small, mobile, solar-powered fridge that safely stores and transports medicines such as vaccines, in order to be used in field vaccinations as well as remote clinics.
According to Africa Prize Judge Alessandra Buonfino , Magero’s innovation, VacciBox, showed the potential possessed by the continent for innovation in the medical industry.
“We’re delighted to award VacciBox the Africa Prize. The potential impact of improving the cold chain delivery of medicine – especially vaccines – to rural areas is immense.”
As a result, Magero received Ksh3.6 million (£25,000) which will utilised to aid the invention reach more people in Africa.
“Norah truly represents the idea that one innovator can change an entire community. We look forward to watching her and her team scale this innovation to reach even more people,” Buonfino stated.
Honoured by the distinction, Magero noted that the invention was aimed at aiding medics working in poverty-stricken areas.
“VacciBox was designed with our local challenges in mind. It’s versatile, reliable and localized. We’re ensuring that it works the way healthcare workers need it to work for the conditions they face each day so that they can save lives without worrying about technology,” she stated.
The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK in 2014, is Africa’s biggest prize dedicated to engineering innovation, and has a proven track record of identifying successful engineering entrepreneurs. The programme supports talented sub-Saharan African entrepreneurs with engineering innovations, that address crucial problems in their communities in a new and appropriate way.
Besides this reward,Magero has received other honours including a Booking.Com Technology Playmaker Award 2020 finalist and Women in Energy East Africa Community, Philanthropy Award winner 2017. She is also an alumnus of the Young African Leaders Initiative, YALI and the Micro-Grid Academy.Magero has a vast experience in the design and management of off-grid energy utilities.