The Tanzanian Gibson Kawago (pictured) is among the 15 talented entrepreneurs and innovators from Africa who have been shortlisted by the Royal Academy of Engineering for the African Prize.
The shortlisted entrepreneurs provide innovative engineering solutions crucial to UN Sustainable Development Goals – addressing water, healthcare, agriculture, education, food security, waste, and energy challenges.
Mr Kawago was shortlisted after his company WAGA Power Pack made a power pack out of recycled laptop batteries to provide reliable and affordable power for electric bikes, power banks, solar lights, businesses and homes.
Rebecca Enonchong FREng, founder and CEO of AppsTech and Africa Prize judge, said climate change is impacting Africa more severely than other continents, with agricultural production, food security and water resources being compromised, compounded by a weak adaptive capacity.
“This year, 11 of our innovations are contributing directly to environmental sustainability,” she said.
The 2023 shortlist represents 10 African countries of Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, Sierra-Leone and Angola with the mere reason of demonstrating the importance of engineering as an enabler of improved quality of life and sustained economic development.
Four finalists will be chosen to pitch their innovations and business plans to Africa Prize judges at an event in Accra, Ghana next July.
The winner will receive UK£25,000, and three runners-up will win £10,000 each. An additional one-to-watch award of £5,000 will be given to the most promising entrepreneur from the remaining shortlist.
The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering in
2014, is Africa’s biggest prize dedicated to developing African innovators and helping them to maximise their impact.