10 Final Nominees For The 2017 Innovation Prize For Africa

By Peter Pedroncelli AFKI Original Published: July 17, 2017, 6:19 pm
Transforming healthcare - Innovation Prize For Africa - Dougbeh-Chris Nyan's rapid diagnostic test is one of the innovations that are being recognized. Photo - VenturesAfricaDougbeh-Chris Nyan's rapid diagnostic test is one of the innovations that are being recognized. Photo - VenturesAfrica

This week a world-class African innovation will be recognized at an event in the Ghanaian capital, as the winner of the 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa is officially revealed.

A total of 10 nominees were unveiled by the African Innovation Foundation in June, and one of these innovative individuals will be announced as the winner at the Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra, Ghana on July 18.

The sixth edition of this particular award will be presented at an event themed ‘African Innovation: Investing in Prosperity’, with the nominated innovators hailing from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Liberia, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Here are 10 nominees for the 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa.

Sources: BusinessGhana, CNBCAfrica, TheNation.

Lakheni helps poor households to afford more. Photo: Thinkstock

Nokwethu Khojane – Lakheni (South Africa)

Lakheni is a social and business model innovation, which seeks to aggregate low-income households into buying groups in order to negotiate favourable discounts for goods and services supplied to these households through bulk-buying. Most poor people cannot buy things like groceries in bulk and save, but Lakheni solves this through mobile technology.

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Atlan Space can program drones to monitor the seas. Photo: Reuters

Badr Idriss – Atlan Space (Morocco)

Morocco’s Atlan Space develops software that is used in the management of drones. Possible applications include managing operations in detecting illegal or harmful maritime activity such as illegal fishing or oil spills over wide expanse areas. Artificial intelligence makes the operations of these drones cost-effective, with numerous potential uses.

Gift Gana's Dr. CADx helps to assist doctors in interpreting medical images. Photo - Healthline

Gift Gana’s Dr. CADx helps to assist doctors in interpreting medical images. Photo – Healthline

Gift Gana – Dr. CADx  (Zimbabwe)

Another software innovation on this list, Dr CADx is a software solution that assists doctors and healthcare workers to diagnose medical images more accurately and efficiently. Radiologists are not in plentiful supply throughout Africa, especially in rural areas, so Dr CADx uses deep learning to interpret medical images accurately in order to assist doctors in general.

Farmers can become more productive thanks to FarmDrive. Photo – textually.org

Peris Bosire – FarmDrive (Kenya)

FarmDrive is a fintech company that has developed a mobile application that collects data and provides an alternative risk assessment model for smallholder farmers, determining their credit worthiness and helping to facilitate loans for farmers, increasing agricultural productivity.

An impressive innovation by Dr Aly Shaffei that enables cheaper energy generation. Photo - VenturesAfrica

An impressive innovation by Dr Aly Shaffei that enables cheaper energy generation. Photo – VenturesAfrica

Aly El-Shafei – SEMAJIB (Egypt)

The Smart Electro-Mechanical Actuator Journal Integrated Bearing (SEMAJIB), which is a patented innovation courtesy of Dr El-Shafei of Egypt, is a smart bearing which is versatile and can change its characteristics as it operates. It can therefore be used to support energy-generating turbines, improving efficiency and reducing the cost of generating energy in Africa.

TB-Free Kenya

Children with tuberculosis. Photo: doctorswithoutborders.org

Olanisun Olufemi Adewole – Sweat TB Test (Nigeria)

Developed by Nigerian Olanisun Olufemi Adewole, the Sweat TB Test is a non-invasive rapid diagnostic test that detects tuberculosis (TB). This fairly low-tech method makes diagnosing the disease far easier, within 10 minutes of doing the test, allowing for more rapid treatment.

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South Africa has 11 official languages and many more cultural and linguistic groups. Image: mzansigirl.com

Omolabake Adenle – Voice Recognition and Speech Synthesis Software for African Languages (Nigeria)

Ensuring that African languages live on, whether in constant use or not, this is a software solution that can understand and digitize spoken African languages and synthesize speech from African languages presented as digitized text. A wonderful innovation that can have wide-reaching applications, including assisting a continent with low literacy rates.

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Expensive data is a problem that plagues Africa, but Lokole provides a solution. (Photot: sdxcentral.com)

Nzola Swasisa- Lokole (Democratic Republic of Congo)

Tackling the challenge of expensive data in Africa, the Lokole device lets the user access efficient email communication through cellular coverage at a cost that is between one hundred and a thousand times cheaper than via normal available cellular bandwidth.

Dougbeh-Chris Nyan's rapid diagnostic test is one of the innovations that are being recognized. Photo - VenturesAfrica

Dougbeh-Chris Nyan’s rapid diagnostic test is one of the innovations that are being recognized through the Innovation Prize for Africa. Photo – VenturesAfrica

Dougbeh-Chris Nyan – New Technology for Rapid Detection of Many Infections Using A Single Test (Liberia)

Medical innovations are always impressive, and this one from Liberia could be a game-changer. This rapid diagnostic test can detect at least three to seven infections at the same time within 10 to 40 minutes, as opposed to a few days in most current cases, enabling quicker diagnosis and treatment.

Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set (ECGF) accurately administers intravenous fluids. Photo - VenturesAfrica

Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set (ECGF) accurately administers intravenous fluids. Photo – VenturesAfrica

Philippa Ngaju Makobore – ECGF (Uganda)

Invented in Uganda, the Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set (ECGF) is a medical device that accurately administers intravenous fluids and medicines by controlling the rate of fluid flow based on feedback from a drop sensor. This is certainly an invention worthy of an innovation prize.

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