16 startups make it to the 2021 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation


The 16 shortlisted startups stand a chance of winning £25,000. The Africa prize recognizes the most ambitious African innovators while developing scalable engineering solutions that meet the local challenges. This year’s shortlist represents nine countries including Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, and the Gambia. 16 of the shortlisted participants are female innovators.

In 2014, the Africa Prize programme was launched by the Royal Academy of Engineering and provides a unique support package for business support to innovators transforming their communities. The Africa prize identifies engineering entrepreneurs with high potential most of whom have advanced to achieve the great commercial success that leaves a lasting positive social impact.

The programme covers 8 months of comprehensive business training, engineering, mentoring, and training on media and communications, funding, and networking with top business experts and engineers across Africa.


The alumni of the prize are expected to impact 3 million lives within the next five years. Thus far, over 1500 jobs have already been created and $14 million raised in grants and equity. In June, four finalists will be shortlisted to pitch their improved innovations and business plans to the judges and live audience. The winner will bag £25,000, while the three runners-up will get £10,000.

The 16 shortlisted candidates for the 2021 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation are:

Bio packaging –  Cameroon startup; converts banana and plantain stem manufacturing into biodegradable paper packaging products, offering sustainability. (Cameroon)

Dissolv Bioplastic – compostable bioplastic made from plant waste material that is compostable and can dissolve in water. (South Africa)

Jumeni Field Service Software – Ghana startup with Software that assists service-based businesses with 3-part cloud applications to increase the productivity of their field teams. (Ghana)

ShiVent – A low-cost, non-invasive ventilator for patients with respiratory difficulties that doesn’t run on electricity. (Nigeria) – Smart application relying on AI to teach coding remotely. (Ghana)

RealDrip – Intravenous therapy solution that runs on AI and IoT to monitor the flow rates, dosages, and intake times. (Nigeria)

Orbit Health – Digital health platform that manages and stores patient data while dispensing medication and allowing for continuous care. (Ethiopia)

Mkono-1 – Local 3D printed prosthetic hand offering affordable solutions to people with upper limb amputations. (Tanzania)

Social Lender – digital financial services solution offering a digital financial reputation score on formal financial services for people without bank accounts or access to smartphones. (Nigeria)

KubeKo – Affordable biowaste processing machine targeting smallholder farmers in the managing and monetizing of their biowaste. (Côte d’Ivoire)

I3S – Sustainable and affordable storage solutions made from diverted landfill waste and solves the problems of post-agricultural losses. (Senegal)

Reeddi – Clean, affordable, and reliable electricity solution for businesses and households operating in disadvantaged communities. (Nigeria)

Make3D Medical – Affordable 3D printed and customizable medical, orthopaedic, and assistive equipment for both patients and healthcare workers. (The Gambia)

BlueAvo – Digital platform connecting creative brands and outstanding people in the media industry with local content creators while providing a digital workspace for collaboration and project development. (South Africa)

Aevhas – Machine for processing cassava roots into West African staple Garri. (Nigeria)

CodeLn – Automated tech recruitment platform supporting the recruitment of software engineers while connecting companies to talented individuals. (Nigeria)




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