AIF Announces 10 Start-up Finalists for Innovation Prize for Africa 2018 Awards


TechInAfrica — The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) announced 10 start-up finalists to win the Innovation Prize for Africa 2018 awards. These 10 finalists win over the other 3,000 applicants out of 52 African countries who submitted the applications in many categories including ICT, agri-business, public health, and the environment/energy sectors. These 10 finalists represent the Pan-African flavor of Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA).


The African Innovation Foundation Chairman, Walter Fust said that in the seventh year of IPA, they have seen promising businesses. According to IPA perspective, they highly hope health, environment/energy, and agricultural innovation will leave imprints in the African continent and worldwide. This year’s theme comes from the need to increase cooperation between government, business, industry, innovation makers, and the community to improve the African economy as well as prosperity.


The 10 Finalists are:

Biodegradable seed tray for rice farming – Found by Juslain Nomenjanahary Raharinaivo from Madagascar. As rice is a staple food in most African countries and in Madagascar, seeds are sowed in paper pots called BG (Biodegradable) germinators. Growers are able to transplant seedlings into clumps that can be transplanted easily. The clumps have a high tilling capacity that increases rice yields, thus, possibly to expand the area under cultivation.

Buried Diffuser –  Found by Mr. Wassim Chahbani from Tunisia. The innovation helps to save irrigation water, energy, and the use of fertilizers, and reduce zero water waste through evaporation. With the injection directed to the roots, it will significantly reduce water consumption for irrigation.

Efficient detection of TB and Hepatitis C – Found by Professor Abdeladim Moumen and Dr. Hassan Ait Benhassou from Morocco. The innovation comprises two molecular test of Hepatitis C and Tuberculosis (TB) with a fast, accurate, and effective detection. The detection is from samples where tests are validated clinically, easy, accurate, and affordable.

eNose sensor for tea processing – Found by Abraham Natukunda from Uganda. The technology innovation called eNose that is able to supplement tea processing procedures through low-power sensor devices to analyze maximum levels of tea fermentation. The technology leads to better control results in tea quality, increase revenue for tea processor from a bushel of tea harvested.

Incas Vaginal Discharge Kit – Found by Dr. Laud Anthony Basing. The technology innovation called Incas Vagkit uses a 3-in-1 urine-based test kit to examine vaginal infections. It is linked to a mobile application that allows women to find a fast and convenient solution when experiencing vaginal infections. It requires a urine sample with the results available in 10 minutes.

“iThrone” portable toilet   Found by Dr. Diana Yousef from Egypt. The company uses a revolutionary approach to dismissing un-piped sewage called “We shrink it”. The technology innovation offers inexpensive composite polymer membrane that can evaporate or flush away the water content of daily sewage output without adding heat, energy or flush water.

Mobile Shiriki Network – A start-up run by Henri Nyakarundi from Rwanda. It has a Smart Solar Kiosk called the Shiriki that powered by strong solar panels and supported with large capacity batteries, IoT sensors, and a custom designed router. The technology offers a device charging, virtual top-ups, and affordable connectivity.

Natural solutions for skeletal regeneration and repair – Found by Prof. Keolebogile Shirley Motaung from South Africa. Using a multi-method approach through natural products for skeletal regeneration and repair. Its main products are La-Africa Soother (LAS) and Plant-based Morphogenetic Factor Implant (PBMF). The first product is a topical paste ointment to treat pain and inflammation while the second one is to induce bone and cartilage formation.

Reducing Pollution with GKSORB! – Found by Dr. Fohla Mouftaou from Benin. It comes from the realization that water hyacinth is a threat to the environment in many African countries. It invades lakes, rivers, as well as agricultural fields. GKSORB offers 100 % organic and biodegradable fiber that can absorb 17 times its weight. It can also separate hydrocarbons and clean the surfaces that contaminated by pollutants like hydrocarbons, acids, and paints.

Waxy II Technology – Tanzanian Company found by Christian Mwijage. The company runs a waste plastic recycle business. The company transforms waste plastic into durable and environmentally friendly plastic lumber.  As for the furniture, construction, and building production, it is chemical-free and using a technology called “Waxy II technology”.

Apart from the 10 finalists, AIF previously supported 55 IPA nominees with US$ 1 million and mobilized more than 400 innovators from 55 African countries. Through endorsement and exposure, AIF invested over US$135 million to scale and develop their businesses. The past winners and nominees received more than US$200 million in total valuations.


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