5 African young inventors you should know. The world rarely looks to Africa for solutions and innovation. However the light shines the brightest in the dark. Our continent is full of potential, resources and manpower. The future of Africa is in the hands of the youth. The current wellbeing of Africa is also in the hands of the youth.
From Africa to the world! Here are 5 inspiring African young inventors creating solutions to the world’s problems.
Aline Okello (Mozambique)
Okello, a civil engineer, specializes in water sciences has created an app that helps farmers and rural communities in Mozambique and around Africa. The Rainwater Harvesting App reliable, live precipitation data from Nasa weather satellites; the data is then relayed to farmers via a mobile app, giving them vital information on the best time and place to harvest the rainwater in reservoirs for use during the dry season. Mozambique usually experiences extreme weather: very dry winter and very wet summer. These extremes affect farming. Okello aims to inform residents on how to use the technology that could help them adapt to climate change.
Afate Gnikou (Togo)
This young Togolese inventor made the first Africa 3D printer. The 3D printer is called W.Afate (The W is for Woelab). Gnikou shows us that you can magic with what you have. His $100 3-D printer integrates leftover parts gathered from old computers, printers, and scanners found in local dumping places. Africa has a huge electronic waste problem. Hundreds of tons of discarded industrial equipment and computers lay idly in massive electronic dumps in cities all over the continent. Gnikou’s aim is to use his printer to improve the lives of his countrymen by “printing” objects such as medical prostheses.
Brian Gitta (Uganda)
Gitta, 24,revolutionized malaria testing. Malaria is common in Uganda and affects millions of Africa, including Gitta himself. This spurred Gitta and his colleagues at Makerere University in Kampala to create Matibabu (the Swahili word for treatment). Matibabu scans your fingertip with a red beam, and can detect any changes to colour, shape and concentration of red blood cells, all key malaria indicators. The result is available within one minute, and can be sent directly to a smartphone. This is a huge step in fighting malaria as it makes diagnosis fast and easy.
Rujeko Masike (Zimbabwe)
Masike, an academic at the Harare Institute of Technology in the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department, invented a machine to boost production in the small to medium scale mining sector in Africa. Portable Gold Crusher scales down regular machinery and incorporates local materials to make affordable, portable, sustainable and appropriate crushing machines for local miners. Gold is one of the most exploited minerals in Zimbabwe. Small scale mining in the country significantly contributes to the national economy, employment and poverty alleviation. This invention, made from locally available material, gives small-scale miners access to necessary machinery and will boost their productivity.
Tikhala Mwale (Malawi)
Mwale and a group of final year students from the University of Livingstonia created a device to assist the visually impaired. Mwale created the Smart Stick- a device that can detect moisture, distance and light and will help the visually impaired move about without the help of others, availing them increased independence and autonomy. The Smart Stick uses batteries that are affordable and readily available to even people in rural areas. The world is difficult to navigate without sight. This device opens opportunities for the visually impaired to fully function in society.