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Ugandan Set To Win Top Africa Innovation Prize

The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) (on Thursday  announced the top 10 nominees who will be contending for the 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), to be awarded in Accra, Ghana on 18th July 2017.

Innovators from nine African countries including Uganda, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Liberia, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe have been shortlisted for the prestigious Prize.

This year’s innovators have demonstrated incredible proficiency through innovative solutions addressing challenges in agriculture value chain, health care, energy, communications, service industries as well as surveillance using drone technology.

Uganda’s Philippa Ngaju Makobore is set for the big prize, thanks to her innovation: Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set (ECGF).

ECGF is medical device designed to accurately administer intravenous (IV) fluids and drugs by controlling the rate of fluid flow based on feedback from a drop sensor.

Over 10% of children admitted to East African hospitals need immediate infusion therapy.

Findings from the FEAST trial indicates that over-infusion in children increased the absolute risk of death by 3.3 % at 48 hours.

Erroneous delivery rates can result into serious adverse effects. The ECGF solves this problem as it is very easy to operate and has key safety features which include alarms for rate of infusion (rapid or slow), total volume (over or under) and faulty sensors.

A battery utilizing a hybrid (AC mains and solar) charging bed powers the device.

The ECGF has the potential to save lives by providing accuracy and safety at 8% the cost of a brand-new infusion pump.

Makobore graduated from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with a BSc in Electrical Engineering in 2008.  She briefly worked at a South African telecommunications company, MTN from 2009 to 2010 as an intern telecommunications engineer and thereafter sales engineer before venturing into electronics applications design and development at UIRI in early 2011. Her team comprises of electrical and computer engineers that design and develop electronic applications for Healthcare, Agriculture and Energy.

Her primary interest is in the improvement of the disadvantaged healthcare sector in Uganda.

Other nominees for the top prize include Peris Bosire (Kenya), Nokwethu Khojane (South Africa), Omolabake Adenle (Nigeria), Nzola Swasisa (Democratic Republic of Congo), Badr Idriss (Morocco),  Aly El-Shafei (Egypt), Dougbeh-Chris Nyan (Liberia), Olanisun Olufemi Adewole (Nigeria) and  Gift Gana (Zimbabwe).

This year’s cream of the crop underwent a rigorous selection process by a renowned panel of judges including corporates, academia, technology and scientific experts representing top African innovation influencers.

“We are pleased to share with you the names of our IPA2017 nominees as we continue on our mission to catalyse the innovation spirit and unlock untapped potential in Africa. For the first time, this year’s nominees include innovators from Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Zimbabwe. Moreover, given the instrumental role African women play in transforming Africa, it is thrilling to see more women among the 10 nominees with game changing innovations. By providing platforms to recognize innovation excellence in Africa and mobilizing for African innovators, we continue to live up to our credo of engaging, inspiring and transforming. The inspiring stories of these nominees remind us that innovation and African-led solutions are indeed the answer to Africa’s growth and prosperity,” said Walter Fust, AIF Chairman of the Board.

Now celebrating its sixth year under the theme “African Innovation: Investing in Prosperity”, IPA is the premier innovation initiative in the African continent, offering a grand share-prize of US$185 000 and incentives to spur growth and prosperity in Africa through home-grown solutions.

IPA 2017 edition witnessed a record number of entries from over 2 530 innovators across 48 African countries. The Foundation has supported past winners and nominees with approximately US$ 1 million to move their innovations forward.


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