Godwin Benson, the 27-year-old Nigerian systems engineer behind online tutoring platform Tuteria, has won the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, walking away with GBP25,000 (US$32,000) in prize money.
Tuteria, launched in 2015, is an online platform that links students to qualified tutors in their area. Users are able to find the skills they want to learn via the app, set their budget, and get connected to the nearest tutor.
Benson was named the overall winner of the Africa Prize at a ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya, where four finalists delivered presentations before a panel of judges and a live audience voted for the most promising engineering innovation.
The young entrepreneur developed the platform based on his experiences as a young tutor, with an important part of the service being that both students and teachers are thoroughly vetted before being allowed to use the platform.
“Godwin Benson’s Tuteria invention changes the way Nigerians – and Africans – share knowledge and skills with one another. We’re proud to have him as our third Africa Prize winner, and we trust Tuteria will go on to change the lives of millions of people who are eager to learn and develop new skills,” said head judge Malcolm Brinded.
“His engineering innovation is not only new technology, but also a new way of thinking about education. Benson has successfully incorporated the training of the past six months into his project, and we are eager to watch Tuteria grow on the continent.”
The three runners up, who each win GBP10,000 (US$13,000), were South African Andre Nel for the GreenTower Microgrid system, Hindu Nabulumba from Uganda for the Yaaka Digital Learning Network, and Kelvin Gacheru from Kenya for the Mobi-Water system.