#NewsFlash: 10 nominees announced for AIF’s Innovation Prize for Africa 2016

On 09 May 2016, Gaborone, Botswana – The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) today announced the top 10 nominees for its landmark programme, the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA). Now celebrating its 5th year under the theme “Made in Africa”, IPA is the premier innovation initiative in the African continent, offering a grand share prize of US$150 000 and incentives to spur growth and prosperity in Africa through home-grown solutions.

“In the past five years, I’ve seen innovation grow from a mere buzzword to a sturdy path for African growth in multi-disciplinary industries across the continent. As Africans, we have the talent, potential and clout to solve our own problems with ingenuity too, and IPA is testimony of this,” said Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl, IPA Director at the helm of this initiative since its launch in 2011.

The IPA has seen tremendous growth in applications and increasing interest from both innovators and innovation enablers over the years. To date, IPA has attracted more than 6 000 innovators from 50 African countries, making it a truly Pan African initiative. IPA 2016 attracted a record 3 600 plus innovators and received 985 successful submissions from 46 African countries. African ingenuity this year showcases new breakthroughs in malaria and other public health burdens, smart solutions for farmers and dynamic energy initiatives.


AIF will host the IPA 2016: Made in Africa awards ceremony and its first ever Innovation Ecosystems Connector on 22 and 23 June 2016 in Gaborone, Botswana. This premier innovation event has been endorsed by H.E. Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, the President of Botswana, who will preside at the Awards Ceremony. Collaborating partners include the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology (MIST), and the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH). Visit our event website to learn more about planned activities and partnership opportunities http://event.innovationprizeforafrica.org/

Listed below are the top 10 IPA 2016 nominees. Prior to the final announcement at a special gala ceremony on 23 June 2016 at the Gaborone International Conference Centre (GICC), the expert panel of IPA judges (see http://innovationprizeforafrica.org/ipa-jurors/) will once again deliberate through live pitching sessions and one-on-ones with each nominee to select the top three winners. For fuller details of the 10 innovations and bios, please see: http://innovationprizeforafrica.org/2016-finalists/

THE NOMINEES

Dr. Eddy Agbo, Nigeria: Urine Test for Malaria (UMT)Urine Test for Malaria (UMT) is a rapid non-blood diagnostic medical device that can diagnose malaria in less than 25 minutes. Africa has the highest number of malaria cases worldwide; more often than not, when fever is detected, anti-malaria medication is administered. However, the inability to quickly diagnose and commence malaria treatment can lead to various complications including kidney failure, build-up of lung fluid, aplastic anaemia and even death. UMT uses a dip-stick with accurate results in just 25 minutes. The technology detects malaria parasite proteins in the patient’s urine with fever due to malaria. The UMT is simple and affordable, and a potential game changer in managing malaria across Africa.

Valentin Agon, Benin: Api-Palu
Api-Palu is an anti-malaria drug treatment developed out of natural plant extract. It is significantly cheaper than available anti-malarial drugs, and has great inhibitory effects on 3D7 strains of plasmodium falciparum the causative agent of malaria. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 88% of malaria cases and 90% of malaria deaths reported globally (WHO: 2015) with some African governments spending up to 40% of their public health budgets on malaria treatment. Api-Palu manifests as a fast rate of malaria parasite clearance from the blood following short term treatment, with relatively lower doses. It is available in tablets, capsules or syrup. The drug has been approved in Benin, Burkina Faso, Tchad, and Central Africa Republic because of its therapeutic and non-toxic effects.

Dr. Imogen Wright, South Africa: Exatype
Exatype is a software solution that enables healthcare workers to determine HIV positive patients’ responsiveness to ARV drug treatment. According to WHO, 71% of people living with HIV/AIDS reside in Africa. Until now, governments’ response has been to ensure access to treatment for all. However, a growing number of people on ARVs are resistant to drug regimens, leading to failure of the therapy, exacerbating the continent’s HIV/AIDS burden. Exatype processes the highly complex data produced by advanced “next-generation” DNA sequencing of the HIV DNA in a patient’s blood. Through a simple report, it detects drugs that are resistant to the patient, then highlights the need to avoid these to ensure successful treatment. Exatype has the potential to contribute towards effectively managing HIV/AIDS in Africa, and also holds promise in helping detect drug resistance for other disease burdens such as Tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.

Dr. Kit Vaughan, South Africa: Aceso
Aceso is an imaging technology, capable of performing full-field digital mammography and automated breast ultrasound at the same time, dramatically improving breast cancer detection. Annually, there are more than half a million cancer deaths in Africa and these numbers are expected to double in the next three decades. If diagnosed early enough, the cancer can be treated successfully...

Read More @ Innovation Prize Of Africa

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