Shortlist announced for Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

Dec. 8, 2022
The 2023 award shortlist features innovations across several industries — for water, a industrial wastewater reuse technology, a smart water management system, and a real time water quality monitoring system.

The Royal Academy of Engineering has announced the shortlist for the 2023 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.

The innovations shortlisted in 2023 tackle challenges central to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, including clean water and sanitation, sustainable cities and communities, good health and wellbeing, and clean energy, good health and wellbeing, and quality education.

The 2023 shortlist represents ten African countries, including for the first time Angola and Sierra Leone, and demonstrates the importance of engineering as an enabler of improved quality of life and sustained economic development.

Several water innovations are featured in the 2023 shortlist, including a real-time water quality monitoring and control system, an acid mine drainage solution to recycle contaminated water for human consumption, a portable unit that uses fish waste to boost production of vegetables, and a water management system to prevent excess borehole pumping and drying out of aquifers.

Energy and environmental solutions also feature heavily, with a power pack with recycled laptop batteries to address unreliable power supply, converted motorbikes that run on batteries, an electric cargo bike with a battery-powered fridge to reduce post-harvest loss, a system to help prepare waste for recycling, a mobile machine to create interlocking compressed earth bricks, and an ecofriendly cooking stove that absorbs black carbon.

Additionally, several entrepreneurs shortlisted have pioneered solutions in health, safety and education, with a portable hysteroscopy device for simple examination of the uterus, a remote healthcare monitoring system that records and transmits patient data, a multi-strain probiotic to improve the gut health of chickens, a local rescue network connecting neighbours with the police, and a robotics learning tool for children.

Launched in 2014, the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation is awarded annually by the Royal Academy of Engineering to ambitious African innovators creating local and scalable solutions to pan-African and international challenges. Innovators shortlisted for the Africa Prize will benefit from a unique package of support including business incubation, mentoring, fundraising and communications. The package also includes access to the Academy’s global network of high-profile and highly experienced engineers and business experts in the United Kingdom and Africa.

Four finalists will be chosen to pitch their innovations and business plans to Africa Prize judges at an event in Accra, Ghana on July 6, 2023. The winner will receive £25,000 ($30,500 USD), and three runners up will win £10,000 ($12,200 USD) each. An additional One-to-Watch award of £5,000 ($6,100 USD) will be given to the most promising entrepreneur from the remaining shortlist.

This year’s shortlisted entrepreneurs join the Academy’s 134-strong Africa Prize alumni network, which includes innovators who have achieved significant commercial success and social impact across the continent following their participation in the Prize, such as 2022 winner Norah Magero, and her portable solar-powered fridge solution for transporting medicines.

This year’s shortlisted innovations and entrepreneurs in the water industry are:

  • Affordable AMD Solution, Boitumelo Nkatlo, South Africa – A technology to treat acid mine drainage (AMD) using industrial waste to recycle contaminated water for human consumption.
  • Aquaset, Obed Zar, Ghana – A smart water management system that monitors water levels in boreholes and water tanks, regulating the rate at which water is pumped and preventing pump breakdowns and water waste.
  • Smart Water Tech, Allen Chafa, Zimbabwe – A real time water quality monitoring and control system to address water borne diseases.

The other shortlisted innovations are:

  • Waste-to-Wealth Enhancer, Cletus Ekpoh, Nigeria – A four-part recycling system to help informal waste collectors.
  • YUNGA, Anatoli Kirigwajjo, Uganda – A local digital network connected through a physical device utilising the Internet of Things to provide security at a low cost in under-resourced areas.
  • Digital Aquaponics, Flavien Kouatcha Simo, Cameroon – A portable fish farm that uses fish waste as a fertiliser to produce organic vegetables, enabling small-scale farmers to increase production.
  • Arobot, Cristovão Cacombe, Angola – A robotics learning tool for children that must be assembled and programmed to perform specific tasks.
  • Electric Mobility, Chukwuemeka Eze, Nigeria – An e-mobility service that converts gas-powered three-wheel motorbikes to run on batteries, saving up to 60 percent on running costs.
  • FlexiGyn, Edmund Wessels, South Africa – A portable device enabling gynaecologists to diagnose and treat uterine health issues without anaesthetic.
  • MEDBOX, Emmanuel Ofori Devi, Ghana – A healthcare monitoring system that records a patient’s vital signs and transmits them to doctors who then provide remote medical advice.
  • Multi-Purpose Earth Brick Machine, Fikru Gebre Dikumbab, Ethiopia – A manually-operated portable machine to make interlocking compressed earth bricks using 90 percent-95 percent soil and 5 percent-10 percent cement.
  • ProbiGal, Dr Deon Neveling, South Africa – A host-specific multi-strain probiotic designed to promote gut health and prevent bacterial infections in chickens, reducing the need for antibiotics.
  • Smart Green Stove, Margaret Yainkain Mansaray, Sierra Leone – An efficient non-electric cooking device designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and health risks, slashing energy use by 70 percent.
  • ThinkBikes CoolMAX, Tolulope Olukokun, Nigeria – An electric cargo bike with a battery powered fridge to help Nigeria’s smallholder farmers get fresh food crops to market.
  • WAGA Power Pack, Gibson Kawago, Tanzania – A power pack made with recycled laptop batteries to provide reliable and affordable power for electric bikes, power banks, solar lights, businesses and homes.

Sponsored Recommendations

SmartSights WIN-911 Alarm Notification Software Enables Faster Response

March 15, 2024
Alarm notification software enables faster response for customers, keeping production on track

Automated Fresh Water Treatment

March 15, 2024
SCADA, Automation and Control for Efficient and Compliant Operations

Digital Transformation Enables Smart Water

March 15, 2024
During this webinar we will discuss factors driving the transformation to digital water, water industry trends, followed by a summary of solutions (products & services) available...

Automation for Water Treatment and Distribution Systems

Jan. 31, 2024
Dependable, Flexible Control Solutions to Maximize Productivity