Lawrencia Kwansah of Aquaponics Hub, a company from Ghana that supplies aquaponic kits, has been shortlisted alongside other candidates for the 2022 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.
For the second year in a row, the program will be offered as a digital experience with intensive support provided through both one-on-one and group sessions. Where possible, sessions may also be held in person. Following this period of support, four finalists will be selected and invited to pitch their improved innovation and business plan to the judges and a live audience. A winner will be selected to receive £25,000, and three runners up will receive £10,000 each. An additional One-to-Watch award of £5,000 will go to the most promising innovator, as selected by the live audience.
“Once again we have received an inspiring caliber of applications for the Africa Prize. This year’s shortlist demonstrates how technology can be used to drive development from a grassroots level, and we look forward to supporting these innovators in expanding their impact across Africa,” said Dr. John Lazar CBE FREng, Africa Prize judge.
The Africa Prize supports entrepreneurs creating disruptive technologies that may have otherwise gone unrecognized and under-resourced. Unlike conventional programs, the Prize places greater focus on the socio-economic impact of the overall business. Alumni of the Africa Prize have addressed challenges identified in their own communities and are scaling up solutions to tackle issues as diverse as agricultural resilience, education, and sanitation.
The innovations represented by the 2022 shortlist tackle challenges central to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, such as better access to healthcare, reducing waste, improving energy efficiency, and financial inclusion. This includes medical innovations, such as a device that maps a patient’s veins onto their skin to aid nurses inserting drips or drawing blood, environmental innovations, such as commercial packaging made from a variety of agricultural waste and an absorptive fiber made from the invasive water hyacinth to clean oil spills on land and water, and those enabling greater online inclusion, including an outdoor and off-grid communal workspace that gives students access to WiFi and power and a prepaid bank card that requires no bank account and can be used worldwide and gives the unbanked access to online purchases and cash from mobile money.
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