Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nigerian, six others shortlisted for first Innovation Prize for Africa

Nigerian lecturer in the department of Agricultural and Bioresources Engineering, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Mr. Joel Nwakaire has been shortlisted among the seven finalists that emerged at the first Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA).

The seven shortlisted nominees came out of the 458 submissions from 38 countries across the continent of Africa.

The winners would be unveiled and presented with their prizes in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on March 26, 2012 as a sideline event during the Conference of African Finance Ministers, which holds at the United Nations international conference centre.

Confirming this development to ITRealms Online, Ms Pauline Mujawamariya of the African Innovation Foundation (AIF), noted that the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) are delighted to announce the establishment of the African Innovation Prize worth USD 100,000 for the winner and USD 50,000 for the runner-up.
The 2012 IPA, Mujawamariya said, would consist of two awards given to the two selected innovators cum entrepreneurs in the following three thematic areas: Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs); Green technology - energy and water; Health & Food security.

According to her, the panel of Judges has already shortlisted seven nominees out of the 458 submissions from 38 countries.
She said in a press statement accompanying the announcement made available to ITRealms Online that Mr. Nwakaire made the list of finalists for his development of an “optimized automated biodiesel continuous production plant”, which could be used for processing various types of vegetable oils.

Also, the AIF spokeswoman said the plant has been tested using non-edible vegetable oil Algae and Jatropha producing good results.
ITRealms Online equally gathered that in the finalist group are two Kenyans, one Egyptian, Ethiopian, Angolan and Algerian respectively.

These include Zeinou Abdelyamine, an industrial chemistry graduate from Algeria and founder of his own company, Bit Bait; Rui Edgar Conceição Bram, Chief of ICT Department at National Police of Angola; Alemayehu Hadis Getahun, an associate professor at Jimma University, Ethiopia; Mohamed Sanad, professor at the Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Egypt; Su Kahumbu Stephanou, social entrepreneur and founder of Green Dreams Ltd and Green Dreams Tech Ltd companies based in Kenya; and  Evans Muchika Wadongo, founding Chair and Executive Director of Sustainable Development For All-Kenya (S.D.F.A-Kenya).

Ms. Mujawamariya pointed out that as the Conference of Africa Finance Ministers meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia later this month to discuss the actions needed to turn Africa into a New Growth Pole for the global economy, it is necessary to garnish it with such innovative ceremony.
Further, she said, the annual award is designed to promote the pursuit of science, technology and engineering careers among young African men and women and especially to develop innovative solutions with a great potential for commercialisation.
She explained that the 2012 IPA would consist of two awards given to the two selected innovators and entrepreneurs in the three thematic areas.

This annual prize, she said, honors and encourages innovative achievements that contribute toward developing new products, increasing efficiency or saving costs in Africa.

“IPA acknowledges and encourages innovators and entrepreneurs in their endeavors, since they are one group of stakeholders that have not been considered under Africa's development cooperation agenda,” she asserted.

Remmy Nweke

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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