Africa’s 10 Notable Innovators

Innovation in Africa has moved from a board room buzzword into a phenomenon that has and is helping various societies across the continent.

Their tireless efforts have brought interest from investors, and organizations including The African innovation Foundation (AIF) which will be hosting the Innovation Prize for Africa in Gaborone, Botswana this June.

The ceremony which encompasses a shared prize of $ 150 00.00 had over 36 000 applicants this year, and has shortlisted into their top 10 innovators who have brought solutions to their respective communities in the continent. The list is in order of country of origin.

  1. Benin’s Valentin Agon: Api Palu

Tackling Malaria, Valentin Agon developed Api-Palu, an anti-malaria drug treatment produced from a natural plant extract. The treatment is cheaper than anti-malarial drugs available in the market, and is available in tablet, capsule and syrup form. It is already available and approved in Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and the Central African Republic.

  1. Dr Youssef Rashed of Egypt – The Plate Package (PLPAK)

The plate package is an architectural software solution that assesses the architecture of building plans or technical drawings and determines structural integrity of the end design. Through application of the boundary element based method, the PLPLAK allows the ability to analyse and interpret design of building foundation and slabs. This eliminates human error and builds on modelling techniques.

  1. Kenya’s Samuel Rigu – Safi Syri Organics

Rigu’s innovation is a low cost fertilizer that consists of 100% organic products earthed from farm harvests. Safi Syri Organics is intricately designed to improve yield for famers by up to 30%, with a target market to farmers in rural areas. While Safi Sarvi is in the general cost price as traditional fertilizers, but goes the extra mile in reversing famers soil degradation and lead to improved yield and income.

7.Nigeria’s Godwin Benson – Tuteria

Addressing the need of skill development knowledge Benson created Tuteria, an innovative peer to peer online learning platform that educates on formal and informal education. This innovation allows for tutors and learning to forge an online community and can meet for an online practical exchange.

  1. Nigerian Dr Eddy Abgo – Urine Test for Malaria (UMT)

In an effort to create a quicker response to malaria testing, Dr Agbo created Urine Test for Malaria (UMT), a rapid non-blood diagnostic medical device that diagnoses malaria in less than 25 cases. Using a dip-stick, the innovation detects malaria parasite proteins in the patient’s urine with fever due to malaria.

  1. Nigeria’s Olufemi Odeleye – The Tryctor

The tryctor is a minir tractor modelled on a motorcylcle. Working as a tractor in a smaller-scale, which helps small scale farmers who are constrained by costs of heavy mass equipment, which surpassed their supply. The tryctor has various farming implements which carry out similar operations as a conventional tractor, with 60% of its parts and components sourced locally.

  1. South African Andre Nel – Green Tower

While geysers and air conditioners remain the two most used products in summer and winter respectively, they take a toll on energy consumption in our continent. South Africa in particular, has suffered from regular power outages because of this. The constant black-outs sparked Andre Nel to create The Green Tower, an off-grid water heating and air conditioning solution based on solar power that uses advanced thermos-dynamics that create uo to 90% savings in electricity consumption. It focuses on air conditioners and water heating devices that account to 60% electricity on average in households and buildings. Through use of solar power systems, The Green Tower improves efficiency of solar heat pump with solar thermal collectors, lower pressure storage tanks and heat exchangers.

  1. South Africa’s Johan Theron – PowerGuard

Also in the notion of saving electricity and consumer power consumption, Johan Theron created PowerGuard; a solution that enables consumers to determine the maximum amount of power supply for their day to day operations. Through PowerGuard, consumers have the power to reduce demand, especially during peak times, helping reduce power rationing in the long run.

  1. South African Dr Imogen Wright: Exatype

Exatype is a software that helps healthcare workers determine HIV positive patients responsiveness to ARV Drug treatment. While ARV treatment  is accessible to all in our continent, there is a gap with the responsiveness between patient to drug. Exatype fills that gap, through processing the highly complex data produced by advanced ‘next generation’ DNA sequencing of the HIV DNA in a patient’s blood. This report detects drugs that are resistant to the patient, and highlights the need to avoid such to ensure successful treatment. Exatype also holds promise to contribute to effectively managing other ailments such as Tuberculosis and Malaria.

  1. South African Dr Kit Vaughan – Aceso

An image technology in the health sector, Aceso performs simultaneous mammography and breast ultra sound which improved breast cancer detection. This device has international patents and has been successfully tested in two separate clinic trials with 120 women. This solution can change the entire face of cancer detection in the globe.