Join us online or in person in Accra, Ghana, on Thursday 6 July to help us crown the winner of the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 2023.
Since November 2022, 15 talented entrepreneurs from Angola, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe have undertaken intensive training and mentoring from international business leaders and experts. The innovations shortlisted in 2023 tackle challenges central to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, including clean water and sanitation, sustainable cities and communities, clean energy, good health and wellbeing, and quality education.
This year's four finalists will pitch their innovations to a panel of judges at the Africa Prize Final event in Accra, Ghana, on 6 July 2023. The winner will receive £25,000 and three finalists will win £10,000 each. The event will also name one entrepreneur as the ‘One to Watch’ and include an exhibition featuring the 2023 Africa Prize shortlist’s innovations. Those unable to attend in person can join an online livestream and participate in the 'One to Watch' vote. There is also an online exhibition of the shortlisted entrepreneurs.
The 2023 Africa Prize finalists are:
Chukwuemeka Eze, a Nigerian electrical engineer, developed the Revive Kit, a modular e-mobility service used to convert gas-powered three-wheeled motorbikes to run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
Gibson Kawago, a Tanzanian electrical engineer, developed the WAGA PAWA Pack, a rechargeable power source created from recycled laptop lithium-ion batteries, providing a reliable and affordable electricity source.
Anatoli Kirigwajjo, a Ugandan software engineer, developed YUNGA, a local digital security network that connects neighbours to each other and police within a 20km radius via a physical device, smartphone app or SMS service, providing security at a low cost.
Edmund Wessels, a South African biomedical engineer, developed FlexiGyn, a battery-powered portable handheld device enabling gynaecologists to diagnose and treat a woman’s uterus without anaesthetic or expensive equipment, increasing women’s access to reproductive healthcare, particularly in remote areas.
The shortlist for the One to Watch prize are:
Cristovao Cacombe, Arobot
Allen Chafa, Smart Water Tech
Cletus Ekpoh, Waste-to-Wealth Enhancer
Fikru Gebre Dikumbab, Multi-purpose Earth Brick Machine
Flavien Kouatcha Simo, Digital Aquaponics
Dr Deon Neveling, ProbiGal
Boitumelo Nkatlo, Affordable AMD Solution
Emmanuel Ofori Devi, MEDBOX
Tolulope Olukokun, ThinkBikes CoolMAX
Margaret Yainkain Mansaray, Smart Green Stove
Obed Zar, Aquaset
Guest speakers will include: Professor Elsie Effah Kaufmann, Dean of the School of Engineering Sciences at the University of Ghana and Harriet Thompson, British High Commissioner for Ghana.
The judging panel consists of: Chair Malcolm Brinded CBS FREng, Rebecca Enonchong FREng, Dr John Lazar CBE FREng, Dr Ibilola Amao, Dr Alessandra Buonfino and guest judge, Sewu-Steve Tawia.
Find out more about the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.
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Elsie is a biomedical engineer and currently serves as the Dean of the School of Engineering Sciences at the University of Ghana, as well as being an associate professor and the Founding Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. She has contributed immensely towards science and engineering education and has hosted the Ghana National Science and Maths Quiz since 2006. Professor Kaufmann is a Fellow of the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE), a Fellow of Biomaterials Science and Engineering and a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a past President of the Ghana Society of Biomedical Engineers. She has received a number of prestigious local and international awards, including the Distinguished Woman in Engineering Excellence Award in 2022 from the Ghana Institution of Engineering. She is the Founder of the Elsie Effah Kaufmann Foundation.
Sewu-Steve Tawia is a Ghanaian-French investment and development finance professional with over 20 years of experience in development finance, strategy consulting, angel investing and venture capital funds in Europe and Africa. He is currently General Partner at Jaza Rift Ventures, a $5 million seed fund backing East to West Africa-focused healthtech, medtech and biotech startups, developed in partnership with Villgro Africa. Through Asime Ventures, he’s also a prolific angel investor with a track record across the continent in fintech, healthtech, e-commerce, insuretech, retailtech, renewable energy and edtech. A venture capital, private equity and impact investing expert, he is also a strong advocate of gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. He further supports the development of Africa’s investment ecosystem through engagements as an ANDE Investment Management Trainer, a coach and mentor with the African Angel Academy, a co-Founder of Accra Angels Network, and through involvement in the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.
Ato Ulzen-Appiah is a (social) entrepreneur, consultant, social media influencer and blogger. He studied at MIT and Stanford in civil engineering and management. Ato is the director of the GhanaThink Foundation, a social enterprise which mobilises and organises talent, with programs in networking, mentoring, volunteering and training for young people. He consults in the youth, tech and agritech spaces and for organisations such as the International Trade Centre and the World Bank. As Entrepreneurship Development Specialist at the Kosmos Innovation Center incubator, he mentors and coaches startups. International forums he has spoken at include the World Bank Diaspora Trade Forum, African Business Conference at Harvard, and the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town. He's a member of the Global Shapers Alumni and the World Economic Forum community. He co-founded African music website museke.com and blogs at mightyafrican.blogspot.com
Malcolm Brinded CBE FREng is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Chair of EngineeringUK and Past President of the Energy Institute. Malcolm has served as a UK Prime Minister’s Business Ambassador; a member of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development; and a Trustee of the International Business Leaders Forum and the Emirates Foundation. Until 2017 he served as Chair of the Shell Foundation. Malcolm is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and was awarded a CBE in 2002.
Dr Ibilola Amao is the Principal Consultant of Lonadek Global Services, a woman-owned, ISO:9001:2015 certified firm of consultants, providing engineering technology and innovation solutions. Lonadek is focused on deploying talent and state-of-the-art technology for operational excellence. Dr Amao focuses on STEM and innovation in energy, power, infrastructure, oil, gas and agriculture. Her passion is to empower, mentor and coach women and youth for positive transformation. She is a committed and dynamic change agent who established Lonadek in 1991, the Vision 2020: Youth Empowerment and Restoration Initiative in 2006, and the Cedar STEM and entrepreneurship hub in 2008.
John Lazar is a software engineer and business leader focused on technology and entrepreneurship to generate positive impact. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, serving as Chair of the Enterprise Committee, and a Fellow of BCS, the UK’s chartered institute for IT. He was awarded a CBE in 2016. He is the Co-founder and General Partner of Enza Capital and the Chair for Raspberry Pi Foundation.
Dr Buonfino is responsible for GIF’s strategy on climate. She has been working at the nexus of government, investment and not for profits for over 15 years and is a passionate advocate for social change and business as a force for good. Before joining GIF, Dr Buonfino was Head of International Development at the law firm Mishcon de Reya and a civil servant in the UK government. Within this role, she set up a joint unit between the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Department for International Trade to cultivate foreign direct investment and philanthropic relationships with private investors and family firms from over 20 countries into the UK. She started her career as an academic in international affairs (migration and security) and spent several years working in policy and think tanks, thinking and writing about migration, social innovation, unmet needs, and inequality. Alongside her role at GIF, Dr Buonfino is an International Research Fellow at Said Business School within Oxford University; a trustee of the cross party think tank Demos; and a member of the advisory council of Expectation State, a consultancy working with emerging states. She holds a PhD in international relations; an MPhil in development studies; and a degree in anthropology and archaeology.
Rebecca Enonchong is the Founder and CEO of AppsTech and I/O Spaces. She is Chair of ActivSpaces (African Center for Technology Innovation and Ventures), an incubator in Cameroon. She is also Board Chair of Afrilabs, a network of over 220 tech innovation spaces across Africa, supporting over one million entrepreneurs. She is Co-Founder and a Board Member of Cameroon Angels Network and African Business Angels Network. She also sits on the boards of VC4Africa, Suguba, UN ECA Center for Digital Excellence, and the African Media Initiative.
Named one of the top 5 women influencing technology across Africa, Ethel Cofie is an entrepreneur, author, global speaker and board chair. Until recently, she was one of the advisory voices for tech and digitalisation for the office of Vice President in Ghana. As an entrepreneur she founded and built a Pan African consulting brand called EDEL Technology, consulting primarily on board and C-level business and digital transformation advisory. EDEL Technology Consulting was named IT consulting firm of the year by the telecoms and IT industry in Ghana in 2017. Her work supporting women leadership includes Women in Tech Africa (WITA), Africa’s largest women in tech group, with members in over 30 African countries in the diaspora. In 2019, WITA was awarded the UN EQUALS Award in New York during the UN General Assembly week. She authored her first book in 2020 named, ‘In pursuit of the Gazelle (A series of Essays on Technology Ecosystems in Africa)’ and has had her opinion pieces featured on CNN, BBC and other influential media sites. She sits on numerous boards including one of West Africa’s largest insurance firms and Fintech and logistics startups across East and West Africa. She is chair of the Ghana Government ICT Sector Skills Board. She is involved in design and implementation of computer science curriculum for technical universities Her awards include the Glitz Ghana Woman of the Year, Technology award, as well as being recognized as Africa's Most Influential Woman in Business and Government for ICT by CEO Global.
Harriet Thompson is the British High Commissioner for Ghana, arriving in June 2021. She is also the non-resident Ambassador Designate to Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo. Before her arrival in Ghana, Ms Thompson was the British Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, Nigeria where she led a large and growing mission covering the full spectrum of the UK’s work in the country, with a particular focus on commercial and economic development. She arrived in Lagos in July 2019 after nearly 3 years as British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria in Abuja. Previously Ms Thompson enjoyed a varied career working across the British government, leading policy and programmes across trade, energy, climate change and other areas. She negotiated trade policy at the UK’s Permanent Representation to the EU, led the UK delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) climate change negotiations, led the UK’s strategy to counter serious and organised crime, and ran a major change programme at HM Revenue and Customs to create the Fraud Investigation Service.
Date: 06 July 2023
Time: 4.30pm - 8.30pm
Location: Labadi Beach Hotel