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Two Kenyan innovators nominated for Sh14mn prize

iAfyaNAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 14 – Two Kenyans are among 10 nominees for this year’s annual Innovation Prize for Africa awards.

The 2015 challenge by Africa Innovation Foundation (AIF) was aimed at showcasing a diverse range of innovations from agriculture, to education and e-health.

“This year, AIF received a record 925 applications from 41 countries for its prestigious IPA awards, surpassing the previous year’s entry record of 903. The awards ceremony will be held on 12 to 13 May Morocco, a country fast trending as an innovation hub in Africa,” a statement from foundation said.

Three winners out of the 10 nominees will be chosen and are expected share a cash prize of Sh14million ($150,000).

The most outstanding innovation will receive a cash prize of Sh9.3million (US$100 000) while the other two will share the remaining amount with each taking home Sh2.3 million.

Kenyan, Kyai Mullei of M-changa has created a mobile application that empowers individuals and organizations to initiate and manage fundraisers via Short Message Service (SMS) or web devices in an efficient and cost effective way.

Combining mass market mobile communication with money transfer technologies, M-changa allows users to solicit support for a cause, track contributions, and withdraw funds using their mobile phones without relying on internet connectivity.

READ: Developer launches new App for harambees.

The other Kenyan nominee in the competition is Alex Mwaura Muriu, founder of Farm Capital Africa.

His innovation identifies, screens and shortlists full-time farmers with small holdings and help them devise farming plans to attract potential investors who earn profits over time.

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“This is a viable solution to address the inability of committed, small scale African ‘agripreneurs’, who lack collateral and credit history to access traditional financing, from expanding their operations,” AIF noted.

The two Kenyans will be competing with other nominees from South Africa, Uganda, Burundi and Cameroon.

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