Showcasing African solutions to African challenges, the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) has named the AgriProtein team as its 2013 winner. The team of researchers and entrepreneurs will receive USD 100 000 for their innovative approach to nutrient recycling – a method that uses waste and fly larvae to produce natural animal feed. AgriProtein’s innovation was selected because of its potential to address growing demand for nutritious food and hunger – and its contribution to sustainable agriculture and waste minimisation. The selection by judges was also based on the marketability, originality, scalability, social impact and business potential of their respective innovations.
Selected from more than 900 applications from 45 countries, the AgriProtein team was recognized at the 2013 Innovation Prize for Africa Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner in Cape Town, South Africa. The AgriProtein solution collects biodegradable waste, feeds it to flies that in turn produce larvae that are ground into protein to provide a more ecologically friendly, naturally occurring type of animal feed. This approach is said to improve the nutritional value of meat and lower the cost of animal feed for African processors and farmers.
Two runners up were also recognized for their contributions to African innovation. In the business potential category, Hassine Labaied and Anis Aouini from Saphon Energy received USD 25 000 for creating a bladeless wind convertor. In the social impact category, Sanoussi Diakite received USD 25 000 for developing a thermal powered machine that husks 5 kilograms of fonia – a West African cereal – in just 8 minutes.
“The Innovation Prize for Africa winners showcase African solutions to African challenges,” said Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, co-founder of the African Innovation Foundation and the IPA. “It is time for private sector leaders, donors and governments to work together to invest in practical solutions that will sustain Africa’s economic growth.”
“We are honoured by this remarkable recognition,” said Jason Drew a member of the AgriProtein team. “We are passionate about expanding our business to recycle more waste nutrients and supply a natural protein to feed farm animals – helping sustainably feed our continent – this is an African contribution to sustainable agriculture for our planet.”
Founded by the African Innovation Foundation and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the IPA is focused on building Africa’s capacity by investing in local entrepreneurship. The Prize mobilizes leaders from all sectors – private sector, donors and government – to promote and invest in African development through innovation.
“The AgriProtein team’s innovation is just one example of the game-changing African ideas that will continue to harness our natural resources profitably and sustainably,” said Dr.Francois Bonnici, Director Bertha Centre for Social Innovation at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business. “The IPA invests in Africa’s greatest resource – its human capital.”
From Tunisa to South Africa, the IPA 2013 finalists are leaders in the areas of agriculture, environment, health, ICT and manufacturing. They include:
- Zero-Blade Wind Convertor (Tunisia): Innovators Hassine Labaied and Anis Aouini from Saphon Energy, a Tunisian R&D start up, developed a wind turbine with no blades that does not rotate – it uses sailboat technology to create cost-effective energy through a back-and-forth 3D motion.
- SavvyLoo (South Africa): Innovator Dr. Dudley Jackson developed a waterless toilet for rural areas and temporary settlements that separates liquids from solids to improve environmental impact, decrease the potential for disease, reduce odour and ensure easier removal.
- The TBag Water Filter (South Africa): Innovator Prof. Eugene Cloete created a water filter that uses electrospun tea bag material to ensure one litre of the most polluted water is 100 percent safe to drink.
- The Malaria pf/PAN (pLDH) Test Kit (South Africa): Innovator Ashley Uys created a new rapid malaria test that indicates within 30 minutes if treatment is effective. The test kit is one of only nine developed globally and is the only test of its kind fully-owned by an African company.
- The Fonia Husker Machine (Senegal): Innovator Sanoussi Diakite developed an electric and thermal powered machine that husks 5 kilograms of fonia – a West African cereal – in just 8 minutes.
- Novatech Construction Systems (Cameroon): Innovator Njokikang Faustinus created an efficient construction process. Its flagship product is a manual brick press that more easily produces 3,000 interlocking bricks per day.
- Mobenzi (South Africa): Innovator Andi Friedman and his team has developed a software that provides mobile data collection and field research solution, allowing sophisticated forms of research to be conducted across Africa online or via mobile phones.
- Mimosa for Solar Powered Production (Nigeria): Innovator Justus Nwaoga developed a new way to collect renewable solar energy by using the mimosa pudica weed, an organic African medicinal plant.
- Agroforestry Model Farm (Sudan): Innovator Muna Majoud Mahoamed Ahmed created an agro-foresty model farm in Khartoum that produces innovative sources of income from moringa leaves, seeds and jatrofa seeds.