Africa's top 10 Innovators – according to AIF

It’s that time of the year again, where one African Innovator will have Christmas in May.

African Innovation Foundation (AIF), catalysts of the innovation spirit in our continent, are set to give away US$150 000 grand share prizes to 10 hopefuls in Africa.

The Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), an award given to top continental innovators is a prize sought by multiples of Africans. Out of the 41 country representatives, 925 innovative hopefuls were picked out for their home-grown ideas that contribute to their community’s prosperity. Here is this year’s selection by country order:

-Jean Bosco Kazirukanyo, Burundi – OSP

A fresh variation of cement that protects waters against carcinogenic lubrication oil spills. This cement can be sprinked on fresh or old lubricant and oil spills. The OSP also contains and recycles oil spills that can harm the ecosystems, some of which are currently being disposed of unsustainably, resulting an ecological damage

-Marc Arthur Zang, Cameroon: The cardio-pad.

In an effort to curb the problem of lack of cardiologists in rural areas, Marc created the cardio pad – an affordable tablet that records and processes the paitent’s heart signal (ECG) and transferring it to a remote station using cellphone networks. The tablet then accesses the ECG results, that can be downloaded by a cardiologist in a closer area. The examination is then interpreted using cardio-pad’s computer-assisted diagnostic embedded application, then results and prescription transmitted to the nurse performing the procedure.

-Kyai Mullei, Kenya: M-changa, (E-harambee)

How does one manage or initiate fundraisers in Kenya? Apart from the ‘go-to’ methods, one can also use M-changa – a mobile application that combines mass market mobile communication with money transfer technologies. This mix spews a cost effective mobile app that helps start or manage fund raisers via sms or web devices. Users can solicit support for a cause, track contributions and withdraw funds using their mobile phones – even without internet connectivity.

-Alex Mwaura Muriu, Kenya: Farm Capital Africa

In an effort to create a win win model for farmers and investors, Muriu brings Farm Capital Africa. An agribusiness that attracts investors for a share of farming profits. The business identifies, screens and creates a shortlist of full time farmers with small holdings and helps them develop farming plans that will attract investors interested in long term profits. The establishment of this business has been a cure to agri-preneurs who do not have a credit history or lack collateral to expand their business.

-Adnane Remmal, Morocco: The alternative to livestock antibiotics

This patent natural formula is composed of natural phenolic molecules with anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic and anti-fungal properties.  It reduces the health hazard from cattle to humans, prevents multi-resistant germs from transmitting into the cattle thus proving cost effectiveness to farmers.

-David Gluckman, South Africa: Lumkani fire detection.

A fire detection is termed as a ‘luxury need’ by society – as some cannot afford the product, or due to its sophistication, is mainly available in urban areas. But, Lumkani is different. The off shelf fire detection device uses a radio frequency transmmition technology viable for informal areas outside the city. In the event of a fire in one’s home, it transmits an alarm to alert the family and sets of heat detectors in a 60 meter radius – all under 20 seconds. The heat detectors signalling assists in electing a community wide response to the fire thus preventing fires setting alight high population communities.

-Johann Pierre Kok, South Africa: Seebox

(Scientific Engineering Educational box)The seebox is an educative and interactive way for children to learn electronic sciences. It creates a practical and experimental way of learning about measuring anything electronic or scientific. Through its short educative videos, the Seebox teaches first hand principles of science and electronics to children.

Lesley Erica Scott, South Africa: Smartspot TBcheck.

This flagship product examines the accuracy of machines used to detect TB diagnosis, assessing whether the machines are at optimal function. It sleek design makes is easy and safe to use and makes diagnosing TB in the long run easier. This creates a long-term powerful stride in Africa’s health sector as today, TB is Africa’s second cause of death, second to HIV/AIDS

Neil Du Preez, South Africa: Mellowcabs.

An environmentally friendly taxi services that moves just from service delivery, to technologies that take the wellbeing of their vehicles seriously. It offers minicab services, tracking the cab’s location, wi-fi access and mobile charging in the vehicle as it transports you. The cabs are all either hydrogen fueled, Mellowcabs or run by electricity.

Samuel O. Otukol, Uganda: Water distillation system and process (dsp).

One of our main areas of concern as human beings is water scarcity. In areas where only sea water is available, one can use the Water distillation system and process (dsp).  Through putting sea water in the contraption, the salty water is evaporated at low temperatures and condensed into fresh water. This is a cheaper variation to reverse osmosis, and can use solar energy in remote areas.

The awards will be held on 13th May 2015 in Skhirat, Morocco this year. The top contender to win US$ 100 000.00, US$25 000 to the highest social impact and US$25 000 to the innovation with best business potential.