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Africa technology innovators to bag Sh12 million in contest

By By JAMES WANZALA | September 30th 2013
By By JAMES WANZALA | September 30th 2013


Africa’s best innovative talents will bag Sh11.8 million (Euros 100,000) in the contest dubbed “empowering people award.”

The event is organised by Siemens Stiftung. The organisation seeks to find simple but intelligent technological solutions with the capacity to sustainably improve the lives of people in developing countries.

The prizes for the best technological solutions will be awarded in Nairobi on October 30. The first three winners will receive Euros 50,000 (Sh5.85 million), 30,000 (Sh3.52million) and 20,000 (Sh2.3 million) respectively. 20 more finalists will each receive Euros 5,000 (Sh585, 000) each.

“The entries on our shortlist illustrate in an impressive manner how simple technical solutions can dramatically change living conditions for the better,” explained Rolf Huber, managing director, Siemens Stiftung in a statement.

  “They provide access to water, energy, health, education and communication in a practicable and cost-efficient manner and also create opportunities for the establishment of small businesses, new ways of generating income and improvements in daily life.”

Viable projects

“We will support further development of the selected technical solutions and we hope that partners globally, will join us in this initiative,” he noted.

The competition allows the online platform to exhibit submitted solutions from around the world and to connect stakeholders. The online community also has the opportunity to select its favourite entry from among the 23 finalists. The international jury will announce the top three winners at the award ceremony in Nairobi.

They will receive prize money of Euros 100,000 (Sh11.75 million) in total. Online voting is on and users can choose their personal favourite for the special community prize.

The projects that made it to the finals include portable biogas container suitable for transporting biogas, a water purification process via electrolysis process is used to extract toxic arsenic (III) from drinking water and a water distillation using solar energy.

Others include a micro-intensive fish farming for food security, a leveraged freedom chair, MakaPads – Sanitary Pads made from papyrus fibres, paper and water hardly that needs any electrical energy among others and  mobile solar cellphone charger amongst others.  An online platform will also be developed to bring together inventors and users of the technical solutions and link them with potential investors and multipliers.

More benefits

Siemens Stiftung is setting up a database to classify all submitted technological solutions and have the best-practice solutions published.   A vote can now be cast for the community prize at www.empowering-people-award.siemens-stiftung.org.

The winner will also receive freely selectable technical equipment valued at Euros 3,000 for his or her project.

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