Kenyan startups among nominees for Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

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Kenyan startups Totohealth and Illuminum Greenhouse are among the 12 nominees for this year’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, organised by the United Kingdom’s Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng).

The Africa Prize, now in its second year, is the continent’s largest prize dedicated to engineering innovation. The 12 selected entrepreneurs will now go through six months of training and mentoring, with the overall winner to be selected in May of next year and awarded £25,000 (US$38,000).

“African engineering innovations have the potential to improve lives not just across the continent but in many countries worldwide,” said Moses Musaazi, Africa Prize judge.

“The resourceful projects entered by the Africa Prize shortlist showcase the best of local engineering potential. The support they receive on the road to success is very important.”

“We see a massive benefit from engineering innovations designed specifically to meet local challenges,” said Malcolm Brinded CBE FREng, chair of the Africa Prize judging panel.

“We are thrilled to see so many innovations aimed at tackling the biggest problems faced by communities in developing regions, including access to energy, nutrition and healthcare. We look forward to supporting these 12 excellent entrepreneurs as they learn to commercialise and scale up their innovative ideas, and seek to grow profitable businesses which make a positive impact on many people’s lives.”

Totohealth, an SMS information system that guides parents through pregnancy and childhood, and Illuminum Greenhouse, which builds greenhouses equipped with solar panels and sensor technology to create a controlled environment in which to grow crops, are joined by 10 other African startups on the shortlist.

They are Kamata (Uganda), Cassava harvester (Ghana), UjuziKilimo (Kenya), FasoPro (Burkina Faso), Okoa (Tanzania), MotoCharcoal Briquettes (Zimbabwe), Tryctor (Nigeria), Standard Microgrid (South Africa), Drylobag (South Africa), and CardioPad (Cameroon).

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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