Innovation Prize for Africa

The African Innovation Foundation (AIF)announced the finalists of the prestigious Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2014.Ten African innovators have created practical solutions to some of the continent’s most intractable problems, from a domestic waste biogas system to a wafer matrix for paediatric antiretroviral (ARV) drug treatment. Chosen from almost 700
applications from 42 countries, the finalists for the IPA 2014 represent Africans’ potential to address the challenges that are unique to the continent.

The winners of the IPA 2014 will be announced at an awards ceremony on 5 May in Abuja, Nigeria, where keynote speaker,the Honourable Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Minister of finance, will highlight the importance of innovation to unlock Africa’s potential for sustainable development and economic growth. The winner will receive USD 100 000 for the best innovation based on marketability, originality, scalability, social impact and clear business potential. A runner up will receive USD 25 000 for the best commercial potential and another winner will receive USD 25 000 as a special prize for innovation with the highest social impact. Prior to the awards ceremony, a roundtable featuring innovation experts will take place, to address the theme “A Path to Building Industrial Nation Skillsets in Africa”.


“As global leaders gather for the 2014 World Economic Forum on Africa to discuss approaches to inclusive growth and job creation, the IPA 2014 innovators demonstrate that the best way to achieve equitable economic growth for all Africans is to invest in local innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, founder of the African Innovation
Foundation and the IPA.


The IPA 2014 finalists are:


. Ashley Uys (South Africa)

OculusID Impairment Screening

The OculusID Impairment Screening device is designed to measure pupil
response to light emissions. The pupil response can then be measured against
pre-determined benchmarks. These benchmarks are applied to measure substance
abuse, physiological defects and even fatigue. The device is a far less
invasive procedure than existing methods.


. Daniel Gitau Thairu (Kenya)

Domestic Waste Biogas System

The Domestic Waste Biogas System is a new type of biogas digester which
utilizes any material capable of decomposing instead of relying on animal
dung to generate gas. Materials that can be used include dirty water,
leftover food, spoiled grain, and vegetable and fruit peelings. This makes
biogas usable even by households that cannot afford animals.


. Elise Rasel Cloete (South Africa)

GMP Traceability Management Software CC

This software is programmed to capture, store and trace data about livestock
and enables data to be captured in real-time. The data is then stored in an
ear tag placed on livestock and backed up on a remote server.


. Joshua Okello (Kenya)


This innovation is a low-cost mobile phone based antenatal diagnosis kit
that captures foetal heart beat sounds and provides diagnosis which is sent
to the mother through SMS. The data can also be uploaded to cloud storage.


. Logou Minsob (Togo)


This is a device designed to replace the mortar and pestles used in
preparing the popular West African dish, foufou. The “FOUFOUMIX ” is a small
electrical food processor that allows generates discreet, quick and hygienic
foufou in 8 minutes, substantially reducing the amount of time needed to
prepare the dish, while also enhancing the hygienic conditions during


. Dr. Nicolaas Duneas (South Africa)

Altis Osteogenic Bone Matrix (Altis OBMT)

Altis OBM is the world’s first injectable bone-graft product containing a
complex mix of various bone growth compounds derived from porcine (pig). It
is used to stimulate the host’s own tissue regeneration system in a way that
leads to the healing of a fracture or bone void, much in the same way as
occurs in a normal unassisted fracture healing processes.


. Maman Abdou Kane (Niger)

Horticultural tele irrigation

The “Horticultural Tele-Irrigation system is a technological process that
allows growers to remotely control their market garden irrigation system
through a mobile or landline regardless of geographic location.


. Melesse Temesgen (Ethiopia)

Aybar BBM

The Aybar BBM is a low-cost farming device that can be used by farmers to
plough fields that are usually waterlogged and helps them easily drain the
water. This turns soils or fields that were otherwise unavailable for
farming into high yielding fields.


. Sulaiman Bolarinde Famro (Nigeria)

Farmking Mobile Multi-crop Processor

The innovation uses centrifugal forces to process cassava, sweet potatoes,
soy, she-nuts, grains and cereals. It helps to separate the tubers from
liquid, particles and impurities/toxic elements. The extractor is designed
to replace the present crude fermentation and pressing technology which is
extremely slow and wasteful and offers limited output and profitability. The
extractor reduces a process that normally takes 3 – 4 days into a 5 minute
process offering higher quality product outputs.


. Viness Pillay (South Africa)


WaferMatTM is a tasty paediatric formulation of ARV therapy in the form of a
wafer that dissolves within 3 seconds of being placed in the mouth. The
wafer makes the process of administering the drug to children easier and
also makes absorption more efficient.


The AIF believes that the best solutions to the challenges Africans face on a daily basis can and will come from Africans themselves and innovation is the key. The IPA selection committee represents private equity investors,seed funders, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, innovation catalysts and leaders who are looking for ideas that move Africa forward.

As one who supports this initiative,I will also like to add here that the African Innovation Foundation should not just stop at awarding prizes to winning applications or projects, for example what happens to other finalists,how can these ideas and projects be commercialized to actually benefit the people in Africa?Am sure these are a few challenges before the AIF.


Kenneth Omeruo
Omeruo Ndukaku Kenneth is an Innovation Management expert,the CEO of Emerging Media,a new media company.He is a member of ISPIM - International Society for Professional Innovation Management and the US-Africa chamber of Commerce.He is the Founder of TechTrends Nigeria Blog,Nigeria Innovation Summit and the African Innovation Academy.Kenneth is a highly sought-after Internet Marketing Consultant who has through his seminars, articles, training and consulting, helped many organizations, Individuals, Businesses maximize the Internet for business purposes.Kenneth has also being featured as a guest on the TV show TODAY ON STV Nigeria and on Bloomberg Africa TV.He is the author of the best –selling Internet Book: How To Create Unlimited Internet Wealth. He is a syndicated columnist with the following Newspapers in Nigeria: Daily Independent, Financial Standard, PUNCH, BusinessDay, and Sun.Kenneth organises the EduNet Conference for Universities in Nigeria. Kenneth is a member of Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria( ISPON ) Roundtable For Capacity Development in Nigeria,member pre-selection committee for Nigeria at the UN World Summit Awards,a Panelist for Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria(YouWIN)-a Federal government initiative created by the ministry of finance,supported by ministries of Communications Technology,Youth Development,Worldbank and DFID. A 2013 Judge at the Google Cloud Developers Challenge for Sub Saharan Africa.He has been a contributing editor of Nigeria Communications Week,Africa Telecom and IT Business Magazine,ICT Today magazine,M2 magazine.Kenneth has been invited to the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation Forum, Oracle Open World Conference USA, Oracle Cloud World Dubai, and GITEX Dubai. He now lives in New York with his family and presently working on an Open Innovation project for Nigeria. You can contact Kenneth through email: (kenneth (at)techtrendsng.com) Facebook:www.facebook.com/Kenneth.omeruo On Twitter:www.twitter.com/kennethomeruo Skpe:Kenneth.Omeruo

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