Winner of ATU Africa Innovation Challenge 2020 Announced
North Africa’s Mai Nagy has emerged winner of the ATU Africa Innovation Challenge 2020. The 31 year old Egyptian national who will be taking home USD 5000 is the creator of a virtual science lab that allows students to conduct science experiments virtually. The innovation, according to Ms. Nagy, has been structured to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic which has forced the shutdown of schools in many countries in the continent.
“Today, students lose the benefit of carrying out experiments in school laboratories. Our innovation seeks to fill this gap,” she said, defending the initiative.
The competition, launched by the African Telecommunications Union-a specialized agency of the African Union in the field of telecommunications, was designed to identify and support young African innovators who have developed innovations useful for benefiting the fight to contain COVID-19’ and possibly other emergency situations in Africa in future.
The ATU believes that investments and commitments in ICT will be the fastest way to support economic growth and bring more Africans into the fast-growing Digital Economy.
Also awarded at the ceremony was Kenya’s Abdinoor Yerrow who bagged USD 3000 and Cameroun’s Bequerelle MATEMTSAP MBOU who received USD 1000. Mr. Yerrow’s submission, a mobile application designed to bridge the language barrier in learning, enables rural learners to access basic literacy and numeracy in their local dialects. The entry was awarded second position.
Ms. Bequerelle’s entry which came third in the competition is an electronic kit that helps protect crops from damage caused by animals. The kit works by emitting ultrasound which is annoying for animals, inaudible and without effect on humans.
ATU Secretary General Mr. John OMO, speaking at the forum, lauded the Challenge partners for their support and affirmed that the Union is keen to pursue cooperation with institutional investors, bilateral or multilateral providers of finance, and other sources to further support the competition winners.
“Our aspiration is to be as helpful as possible in identifying, testing and highlighting innovative adaptation approaches with potential to be replicated and scaled,” he said.
The event also recognized the top two participants from each of the regions of Africa. Those awarded in this category include, Yasmin Eldeeb (Egypt), Kudakwashe Clinton Nyamhuka (Zimbabwe), Mouhamadou Lamine KEBE (Senegal), Tiisetso Masilo (Lesotho), Olusegun Adegun (Nigeria) and Placidius Rwechungura (Tanzania).