10 nominees announced for AIF Innovation Prize for Africa

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The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) has announced the 10 nominees for its Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), which offers total prize money of US$150,000.

Under the scheme, which is now in its fifth year and working under the theme “Made in Africa”, the AIF will also offer incentives to homegrown solutions that spur growth and prosperity on the continent.

“In the past five years, I’ve seen innovation grow from a mere buzzword to a sturdy path for African growth in multi-disciplinary industries across the continent. As Africans, we have the talent, potential and clout to solve our own problems with ingenuity too, and IPA is testimony of this,” said IPA director Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl.

The IPA awards ceremony will be held in Gaborone, Botswana, on June 22-23, and involves collaboration with partner such as Botswana’s Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology (MIST) and the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH).

The nominees include a number of innovators active in the tech space. Dr Imogen Wright from South Africa has developed Exatype, a software solution that enables healthcare workers to determine HIV positive patients’ responsiveness to ARV drug treatment, while another South African, Dr Kit Vaughan, makes the list for imaging technology Aceso, which can perform full-field digital mammography and automated breast ultrasound at the same time.

Dr Youssef Rashed of Egypt makes the list for the Plate Package (PLPAK), a robust software solution that assesses the architecture of building plans or technical drawings, determining structural integrity of the end design, as does Nigeria’s Godwin Benson for Tuteria, a peer-to-peer online learning platform.

The list is completed by Nigerian Dr Eddy Agbo and his Urine Test for Malaria (UMT), Valentin Agon from Benin for his Api-Palu an anti-malaria drug treatment, Nigerian Olufemi Odeleye for The Tryctor, Kenyan Samuel Rigu for low-cost fertiliser producer Safi Sarvi Organics, Andre Nel from South Africa for off-grid water-heating solution Green Tower, and South African Johan Theron, for PowerGuard, which enables consumers to determine the maximum amount of power supply required for daily operations.

Walter Fust, chairman of the AIF board, was impressed by the level of submissions for IPA 2016.

“As we celebrate the five year IPA journey, our mission to engage, inspire and transform is evident in the IPA process – from the growing registrations, to the level of talent and ingenuity we see in the nominees, as well as the enthusiasm from our expert judges in seeing these innovations at work to solve some of Africa’s intractable challenges,” he said.

“Now while we await announcement of the winner, we call on all innovation enablers to join hands with us to unlock the potential of these nominees.”

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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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