Young Kenyan innovators are pushing hard to come up with solutions to the challenges they face through the use of technology.
This led to five Kenyans being shortlisted for the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize alongside other Africans. The winner will be awarded 25,000 British pounds while the three runners-up will each receive 10,000 British pounds. The Kenyans nominated for the awards are:
1. Beth Koigi- Majik Water
Her startup, which she co-founded with friends she met in Silicon Valley, is all about capturing water from the air. The technology developed draws water from the air and then heats it up by solar energy and through the process transforms it into drinking water. The result is up to 10 liters of clean drinking water a day.
2. Roy Allela- Sign IO
The Kenyan innovator who works for Intel and tutors at Oxford University has an invention of smart gloves that convert sign language movement into audio speech. The gloves are paired through Bluetooth to a mobile phone app and then vocalize the letters. The 25-year old was inspired by his 6-year old niece who was born deaf.
3. Collince Oluoch- Chanjo Plus
According to the official website, Oluoch’s startup is a mobile phone service that seeks to enhance full immunization access for children aged 0-5 years. This is done via a database that tracks vaccination defaulters, sending vaccination reminder alerts to registered parents’ mobile devices and generating vaccination data in real time.
4. James Ochuka- JuaKaliSmart
Ochuka’s company seeks to connect customers with the informal sector artisans known as ‘juakali’. Through their website, customers get to compare different products and make purchases. JuaKaliSmart also trains the artisans in order to deliver quality products.
5. George Kimani- Smart Brooder
Through a company called Arinifu Technologies, George’s innovation is about an environmental control device which ensures the conditions within the poultry brooding space are kept within optimal levels. This increases efficiency and ultimately leading to better overall results.
6. Kenneth Guantai- Elo-Cart
Guantai’s innovation is about a battery powered system that recoups energy from motion to self-power handcarts, used by traders, farmers and health workers.
The awarding ceremony will take place this year in June. The Kenyans mentioned above will be competing with those from other 15 African countries for the top prizes.