Technology

5 African innovators to watch in 2019 and beyond

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The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation have announced their shortlist, and we’re paying close attention to five of the impressive nominees! Talented, ambitious and committed to technological excellence, we’re sure they’ll be making waves over the next year and beyond.

Here’s a look at some of the stand-out individuals and inventions that made the shortlist:

Muzalema Mwanza, Zambia

Muzalema Mwanza’s creation of a Baby Delivery Kit is making waves. The kit includes the tools that expectant mothers in Zambia are often asked to bring to hospital themselves — including a hygienic sheet, scalpel and sanitary pads.

It will be particularly useful for midwives participating in home births and for midwives working in under-resourced clinics. The Baby Delivery Kit demonstrates how innovation can empower communities.

Mwanza is already leading a team that produces thousands of kits a month. Her commitment to reducing the amount of infections in newborns, coupled with a desire to empower mothers-to-be, show how well-deserved Mwanza’s place on the shortlist for this year’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation really is.

Collince Oluoch, Kenya

Using your own life experiences to create systems that can improve the lives of others is a skill Collince Oluoch knows well. Through his own experiences as a vaccination volunteer, he was driven to innovate and create a model that would address the shortcomings that he witnessed.

He created Chanjoplus — an impressive online system that helps parents and healthcare workers maintain records and keep children up to date with lifesaving vaccinations. Chanjopolus is even built into Kenya’s national healthcare system, meaning Olouch’s creation is already helping to yield far-reaching, life-saving results.

Although currently in a pilot phase, volunteers are steadily receiving the training that will see Chanjopolus go through its second trial and continue to grow.

Beth Koigi, Kenya

Beth Koigi created Majik Water in Kenya — a stellar illustration of innovation. Majik Water harvests water from the air to provide water which is affordable, clean and safe for drinking. This is then held in “Water ATM’s” which enable people to ‘withdraw’ the amount of water they need.

Water ATMs are already popular in Kenya, but Magik Water breaks the mould by actively seeking ways to supplement this technology with something affordable. This marks a sharp contrast from the other water ATM suppliers, and reaffirms Beth Koigi’s position on this shortlist.

Anne K. Rweyora, Uganda

Driven by a desire to empower Ugandan women in a sustainable way, Anne K. Rweyora created Smart Haven Technologies. This awesome innovation is centered around the creation of smart, sustainable homes which are built from appropriate yet equally affordable technologies.

Using designs that reduce temperatures indoors, solar water, and locally designed bricks are just a few examples of how Anne and her team are committing to building an environmentally conscious enterprise.

Rweyora’s passion for increasing home ownership among women was born out of her work as a social worker. To increase opportunities for those in areas where they’re building, the team intentionally train more artisans than needed during construction to provide local men and women with free training sessions.

Safiatou Nana, Burkina Faso

Safiatou Nana is the mind behind SolarKoodo, an impressive moveable solar water pumping system. Her innovation has the potential to change farming completely! Through her mobile pump technology, users are able to pull water from boreholes in off-grid regions where water tables drop very low. SolarKoodo can also be used to electrify homes!

During the dry months in the Sahel region arming can become a near impossible task due to lack of water. Nana’s commitment to improving access to water in these more difficult areas is reflected in SolarKoodo’s design.

Read more about the other innovators on the shortlist, and keep up with developments on the prize here!

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