By Jimoh Babatunde
As global leaders gather for the 2014 World Economic Forum on Africa in Abuja next month to discuss approaches to inclusive growth and job creation, the 2014 winners for Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) will be announced.
The winners of the IPA 2014 will be announced at an awards ceremony where keynote speaker, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of finance, will be highlighting the importance of innovation to unlock Africa’s potential for sustainable development and economic growth.
Prior to the awards ceremony, a roundtable featuring innovation experts will take place, to address the theme “A Path to Building Industrial Nation Skill sets in Africa”.
According to a release made available by the African Innovation Foundation (AIF), 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, have been selected.
They were 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 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 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 development leaders who are looking for ideas that move Africa forward
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.
Among the finalists is a Nigerian, Sulaiman Bolarinde Famro, who was seleceted for his Farmking Mobile Multi-crop Processor. His 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.