The IPA 2016 winners


US$25 000
South Africa


Imogen Wright

2nd Prize


US$100 000



Dr Valentin Agon

1st Prize


US$25 000

Urine Malaria Test, (UMT)

Dr Eddy Agbo

Highest Social Impact



The IPA 2015 winners


US$25 000

Farm Capital Africa

Alex Mwaura Muriu

2nd Prize

Alex Mwaura Muriu from Kenya won the Second Prize and was awarded USD 25 000 for Farm Capital Africa , a well-developed risk sharing agri-business funding model that draws in investors for a share of farming profits. This initiative identifies, screens and shortlists full-time farmers with small holdings and helps them devise farming plans to attract potential investors who earn profits over time.

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. An attractive farming initiative and investment option for those with extra capital, benefiting both small scale farmers and investors.

US$100 000


A patented alternative to livestock antibiotics

Prof. Adnane Remmal

1st Prize

Prof Adnane Remmal from Morocco is the winner of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2015 Grand Prize. He received USD 100’000.00 for his patented alternative to livestock antibiotics. This is a composition of natural phenolic molecules with anti-microbial (anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal) properties.

This natural and innovative formula reduces the health hazard to cattle and humans, and prevents the transmission of multi-resistant germs and possible carcinogens through meat, eggs and milk to humans at no extra cost to farmers.

US$25 000
South Africa

Smartspot TB-check

Prof. Lesley Erica Scott

Highest Social Impact

Prof Lesley Erica Scott from South Africa is the winner of the Special Prize for innovation with the highest Social Impact. She walked away with USD25 000 prize money for her Smartspot Tb check. Smartspot’s flagship product, the Tb check examines the accuracy of machines used to detect TB diagnosis. They are designed to assess whether these machines are functioning optimally.

Unlike other products, Tb check is easy and safe to use and can be delivered to laboratories safely and economically. This will make diagnosing TB far easier and might go a long way in curbing the TB epidemic in Africa. Today TB is second only to HIV and AIDS as a leading cause of death in the continent.


The IPA 2014 winners


US$25 000

Foufou Mix

Logou Minsob


Logou Minsob, from Togo, won the runner-up Prize and was awarded USD 25,000 for the Foufou Mix machine, seen as the innovation with the best business potential. The Foufou Mix is a food processor designed to replace the mortar and pestles used to prepare foufou, a popular dish in West Africa.

Manufactured in Togo, the Foufou Mix allows you to easily prepare Foufou without the pounding that has traditionally been associated with the preparation. It allows for quick and hygienic preparation in 8 minutes maximum. It also allows pulping of palm nuts in 2 minutes. Pounding of yam for Foufou has traditionally been done by women and is a long and arduous process, therefore, the use of this device helps to free up the woman. Foufou being a typically African dish, this innovation provides a solution not currently being contemplated by international manufacturers. It also opens up possibilities for a creation of a whole new Africa industry for manufacturing of such an appliance on the continent.

US$100 000
South Africa

Altis Osteogenic Bone Matrix

Dr. Nicolaas Duneas & Nuno Pires

1st Prize

Dr Nicolaas Duneas and Nuno Pires, from South Africa, are the winners of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2014 Grand Prize. They received USD100’000.00 for their Osteogenic Bone Matrix (OBM) innovation. This is the first injectable porcine derived BMP (bone morphogenetic proteins) medical device in the world - an innovative product for the treatment of bone injuries that voids through the use of a regenerative biological implant.

The OBM injection leads to the rapid, safe and effective healing of problematic bone injuries, leading to the complete and natural restoration of the bone, including the bone marrow. OBM is the only bone graft substitute containing naturally extracted bone growth proteins that cooperate with high efficacy and sourced from mammals, making it cost effective to produce. This innovation is expected to radically change the way orthopedic surgeons treat bones injuries.

US$25 000

Multipurpose broad bed and furrow maker

Dr Melesse Temesgen

Highest Social Impact

Dr Melesse Temesgen of Ethiopia is the winner of the Special Prize for innovation with the highest Social Impact. He walked away with USD 25 000prize money for his innovation, the Aybar Broad Based Furrow Maker (BBM), promises to have the greatest social impact. It is estimated that the income of farmers will more than triple as a result of using this technology.

The Aybar BBM is a low-cost farming device used to easily drain excess water from waterlogged fields. It is the only known effective device capable of creating drainage furrows for excess water while building a broad bed for planting. Up to 5 million hectares of land in Ethiopia and a much larger area in Africa are not available for farming because they are water logged. Using the Aybar BBM re-avails this abandoned land hence improving food production. The Aybar BBM builds on 2,000 years old Ethiopian farming technology, is easy to use and very cost effective. Over 44,000 units have been sold in Ethiopia alone to date.

Cape Town

The IPA 2013 winners



Zero Blade Wind Converter

Hassin Labaied & Anis Aouini


Hassine Labaied and Anis Aouini from Saphon Energy received USD25 000 for creating a bladeless wind convertor. The Zero-Blade Wind Convertor is largely inspired by a modern sailboat – it has no blades and does not rotate. Instead, the wind is harnessed by a sail-shaped body which follows a back-and-forth 3Dknot motion. The wind energy is first converted to mechanical energy via pistons then transfers to hydraulic energy and then to electricity.

The converter’s use of a hydraulic system allows the conversion of the mechanical energy into hydraulic pressure which can either be directly converted to electricity or stored to provide power later when there is not wind. Ultimately, the Zero-Blade Wind Converter provides a unique and cost-effective new African energy solution.

South Africa


AgriProtein Team

1st Prize

The team of researchers and entrepreneurs received USD 100 000for their innovative approach to nutrient recycling – a method that uses waste and fly larvae to produce natural animal feed. 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 improves the nutritional value of meat and lowers the cost of animal feed for African processors and farmers.


The Fonio Husker Machine

Sanoussi Diakite

Highest Social impact

For the 200 million people in West Africa who are facing food insecurity and malnutrition, fonio cereal – grown in 16 African countries from Cape Verde to Chad – is one of the best solutions to improving health and nutrition. In the social impact category, Sanoussi Diakite received USD 25 000 for developing and diffusing a thermal powered machine that husks 5 kilograms of fonio – a West African cereal – in just 8 minutes. The Fonio Husker Machine allows producers and consumers to scale production of fonio, an important African grain.

The Fonio Husker Machine effectively husks and cleans the fonio grains as they pass through the shifting and flexible paddle which is set on a vertical axis and on top of a fixed plate. The separation of grain and husk is done simultaneously by an incorporated system of ventilation. This process requires just 1.5 kilowatts for power increasing yields by more than 65 percent. This innovation provides the opportunity to promote fonio as a nutritious and healthier food across West Africa.

Addis Ababa

The IPA 2012 winners



Next Gen of Cellular Tech

Prof Mohamed Sanad

1st Prize

Professor Mohamed Sanad, an engineering professor at Cairo University in Egypt, is working on the cutting edge of mobile technology. As the winner of IPA 2012, he was awarded USD 100,000 for creating a new in-phone and mobile antennae that operates on all frequency bands and addresses challenges faced by the existing antennas.

This innovation will help people stay connected seamlessly, ensuring improved cellular access and productivity across Africa and around the world. Professor Sanad’s antennae will be the first to operate across carriers and borders. His innovation exemplifies the kind of leapfrog solutions with practical market potential that inspire the IPA secretariat and investors.


100% Natural Products to fight Insects and Rodents

Zeinou Abdelyamine


Zeinou Abdelyamine, an industrial chemist from Algeria, received SD 50,000 for his research and development of environmentally friendly, natural insecticides and rodenticides. His product, Bit Bait (small bait) is an invention which price and quality rivaling global products. Bit Baits Bait (insecticides and rodenticides) are non-chemical and 100 per cent natural. His products contain natural elements which attract insects and rodents, but are fatal when consumed.

This solution was patented in Algeria, recorded and published by WIPO. Bit Bait can be regarded and examined as a global breakthrough and a giant step in the fight against insects and rodents.


6 000 innovators 50 African countries Celebrated in 5 cities

The African Innovation Foundation welcomes you to the 5th edition of the Innovation Prize for Africa event and the first ever Innovation Ecosystems Connector in June 2016

Innovation Prize for Africa

celebrating African ingenuity

Innovation Prize for Africa

Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) was established in 2011 and its purpose is to strengthen African innovation ecosystems and spur the growth of market-driven African solutions to African challenges. The IPA goals are to:

  • Mobilize African innovators and entrepreneurs who deliver market-oriented solutions to African challenges, and support them through the IPA awards and post-prize activities
  • Strengthen African innovation ecosystems by mobilizing innovation enablers from all sectors to create a conducive environment to drive innovation across Africa.

The prize also encourages young African men and women to pursue science, technology and engineering careers as well as business opportunities. One of the highest accolades on the African continent in the innovation space, IPA focusses on home-grown solutions for Africa by Africans.

At AIF, we believe that there is no shortage of talent on the African continent, but resources to fund them are limited. The IPA thus honors and encourages innovative achievements that contribute towards developing new products, increasing efficiency or cost savings in Africa. To date, IPA has attracted more than 6 000 participants from 50 African countries - testimony of the truly Pan-African flavor of this initiative!

Meet the IPA Team

IPA Director
Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl
IPA Process Manager
Robinson Esialimba

This Content will be available Shortly

Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl |


Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl joined the African Innovation Foundation in July 2011 as the IPA Program Director, but is also responsible formanaging the innovation and technology programs of the Foundation. Pauline focuses on cultivating market-orientated solutions for African-leddevelopment across the continent, building an innovation ecosystem that will invigorate economic growth across Africa.

Pauline has more than 15 years’ international development experience with organizations such as UNICEF and GTZ in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, ENDA Tiers Monde in Senegal, and the Jewish Family and Children’s Service and TANGO International in the USA.

Prior to joining the AIF, she worked for the World Health Organization in Geneva and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement Foundation inUSA. Pauline currently serves as a board member of the Flame Tree Initiative, a US-based NGO that focuses on using ICTs to address the digitaldivide through collaboration with African universities. She is also one of the Bellagio/PopTech Catalysts, a joint initiative between theRockefeller Foundation and PopTech which brings together a global community of innovators and thought leaders from different fields to shareinsights and work together to create lasting change.

Pauline has a BA Honors degree in international studies from the University of Arizona with a core focus on sub-Saharan Africa development. She also has a Master’s degree in Poverty and Development from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Sussex University, United Kingdom where shewas a Fulbright Scholar. In addition, Pauline served as a Fulbright Fellow at UNESCO, Paris, focussing on freedom of expression, democracy andpeace.

Pauline has a passion for people and their development, and dedicates her time towards ensuring the economic and social empowerment of Africans.Recently, she received the Social Responsibility Alumna Award from the University of Arizona Honors College for her commitment in promoting socialresponsibility throughout her life.

Robinson Esialimba |

IPA Process Manager

Robinson Esialimba joined the African Innovation Foundation in September 2013 as Process Manager, responsible for operational running of theInnovation Prize for Africa (IPA) and related activities.

Prior to joining AIF, Robinson founded and was managing an online platform that provided African technology startups with business strategyconsulting and connections to viable sources of financing.

Robinson comes with a wealth of management experience of over 10 years, having worked in senior management positions in international organizationsand UN agencies in Africa and Europe. He was a Senior Technical Officer with the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva,Switzerland, advising on patent licensing for vaccine and pharmaceutical companies in Africa.

Robinson holds a law degree from the University of Nairobi in Kenya, and a Masters in Law from the University of Lund in Sweden, specializing inintellectual property law and innovation. In addition to intellectual property law, he has interests in private equity financing, internationaltrade law and project management.

Laura Yuego |

IPA Program Officer

Laura Yuego is the Program Officer for Innovation Prize for Africa, a flagship program of the African Innovation Foundation. Her mainresponsibilities include supporting the IPA team on all operations, as well as program and administrative assistance.

Laura is from Cameroon where she initially studied for her Masters in African Business Law, after which she began her teaching career as a PhDAssistant at the Faculty of Law at the University of Yaoundé 2 in Cameroon. She then obtained a Masters in Management of Development programs inAfrica from the University of Paris 11 in France.

Prior to joining AIF, Laura worked as a Program Officer for a Swiss NGO, assisting livelihoods in the Himalayas. As a lawyer, she also worked for ahumanitarian NGO inspired by Christian faith to relieve human suffering in some of the world’s most remote and devastated areas.

Laura has over seven years’ experience working in the non-profit sector in Africa and Switzerland. She joined AIF because the Foundation’s mandatewas a right fit with her desire to work for an organization focused on increasing growth in Africa through African human potential.

Laura is married and has 2 daughters.

AIF & its Purpose

Founded in 2009, the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) helps mobilize innovation and support sustainable development in Africa. The purpose of the AIF is to increase the prosperity of Africans by catalysing the innovation spirit in Africa

Thematic Focus

Releasing untapped potential in Africa, driving pragmatic, African-led solutions through the
Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA)

Promoting African governance and access to law and legal resources through the
African Law Library (ALL)

We sustain livelihoods by empowering the local population and income generation through the
Social Impact Program for Angola (SIPA)

We are inspired by People Participation Partnerships
Find out more about us at


Each year, 10 nominees are selected through a rigorous and validated process driven by an expert panel of judges. After face-to-face pitching sessions, the top three innovations are selected. As winners, they receive a prize share of US$150 000 (see the infographic below for the breakdown) with each nominee receiving a $5 000 voucher. Additional incentives are provided for women and young innovators, key players in the innovation landscape in Africa.

Meet our IPA 2016 Nominees

Eddy Agbo
Urine Malaria Test, UMT (Nigeria)

Dr Eddy Agbo is a molecular bio-technologist from Nigeria, and Chairman/CEO of Fyodor Biotechnologies, promoters of UMT. Eddy has a PhD in Molecular Genetics from Utrecht University in Netherlands and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Prior to founding Fyodor, he held a senior research position at John Hopkins University, USA.

Urine Test for Malaria (UMT) was developed by Eddy. It is a rapid non-blood diagnostic medical device that can diagnose malaria in less than 25 minutes. Africa has the highest number of malaria cases worldwide; more often than not, when fever is detected, anti-malaria medication is administered. However, the inability to quickly diagnose and commence malaria treatment can lead to various complications including kidney failure, build-up of lung fluid, aplastic anaemia and even death.

UMT uses a dip-stick with accurate results in just 25 minutes. The technology detects malaria parasite proteins in the patient’s urine with fever due to malaria. The UMT is simple and affordable, and a potential game changer in managing malaria and saving lives across Africa.

Andre Nel
Green Tower (South Africa)

André Nel has an M.Eng degree (electronics and software) from the University of Pretoria in South Africa and has been registered as Professional Engineer since 1991. Andre is passionate about energy efficiency and renewable energy, and has been developing solutions for the Green Economy since 2007. He is a recipient of several awards.

Andre’s innovation, Green Tower is an off-grid water heating and air conditioning solution based on solar power that uses advanced thermos-dynamics to create up to 90% savings in electricity consumption. Water heating and air conditioning systems can account up to 60% of energy consumption in a home or building. There are a number of heating and cooling systems in the market, but few that have demonstrated consistency in efficiencies regardless of weather conditions.

The Green Tower improves efficiency of a solar heat pump with solar thermal collectors, low pressure storage tanks and heat exchangers. With Africa’s middle class rapidly growing and demand for energy outstripping supply, this initiative has the potential for large scale roll out. Green Tower can conserve limited energy resources, diverting them from heating and cooling systems to more productive industries.

Godwin Benson
Tuteria (Nigeria)

Godwin holds a first-class honours systems engineering degree from the University of Lagos in Nigeria and was best engineering Student and 3rd Best Overall Student in the entire graduating set. He worked briefly at ExxonMobil as an Onsite Support Engineer, and also at Deloitte Nigeria as an Information Security Associate before developing Tuteria.

Tuteria is an innovative peer-to-peer learning online platform that allows people who want to learn any skill, whether formal or informal, to connect with anyone else in proximity who is offering that skill. For instance, a student needing math skills can connect online with someone in their vicinity offering remedial classes in mathematics. The tutors and the learners form an online community that connects them, and once a fit is established, they meet offline for practical exchange. Both tutors and learners are thoroughly vetted to ensure safety, accountability and a quality learning experience.

Globally, conventional methods of education and learning are transitioning from centralized to distributed, and from standardized to personalized. Such trends have resulted in better learning outcomes. Tuteria fits in well with this model, and has been highly recommended by the IPA judges for the African continent.

Imogen Wright
Exatype (South Africa)

Dr. Imogen Wright is a South African scientist who holds a first-class degree in physics and computer science from Rhodes University, a Masters in Theoretical Physics from Canada’s Perimeter Institute and a PhD from the University of the Western Cape.

Imogen’s innovation, Exatype is a software solution that enables healthcare workers to determine HIV positive patients’ responsiveness to ARV drug treatment. According to WHO, 71% of people living with HIV/AIDS reside in Africa. Until now, governments’ response has been to ensure access to treatment for all. However, a growing number of people on ARVs are resistant to drug regimens, leading to failure of the therapy, exacerbating the continent’s HIV/AIDS burden.

Exatype processes the highly complex data produced by advanced “next-generation” DNA sequencing of the HIV DNA in a patient’s blood. Through a simple report, it detects drugs that are resistant to the patient, then highlights the need to avoid these to ensure successful treatment. Exatype has the potential to contribute towards effectively managing HIV/AIDS in Africa, and also holds promise in helping detect drug resistance for other disease burdens such as Tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.

Youssef Rashed
The Plate Package [PLPAK](Egypt)

Dr. Youssef Rashed graduated with an MSc degree from Cairo University, Egypt and received his PhD from the University of Wales, United Kingdom in 1997. He is currently a professor of structural engineering at Cairo University and the Deputy Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Universities in Egypt.

Youssef’s innovation is The Plate Package (PLPAK) a robust software solution that assesses the architecture of building plans or technical drawings, determining structural integrity of the end design. PLPAK applies the boundary element based method to analyse and view practical design on building foundations and slabs. This enables engineers to represent building slabs over sophisticated foundation models easily, building information modelling techniques and eliminating human error.

With the rapid growth of African cities, there is increased demand for infrastructural developments to support the growing population. The infrastructure system in Africa, especially building architecture, tends to go untested due to huge associated costs in verifying structure integrity, and can lead to the collapse of buildings with many deaths. PLPAK addresses this through its low-cost, easy to use but world class tool.

Olufemi Odeleye
The Tryctor (Nigeria)

Femi Odeleye is an automobile designer with more than 18 years of experience in design and engineering from both Africa and Europe. He obtained a BSc in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and a BA in Automobile Design from Coventry University, UK. He worked for the automotive industry in the UK before returning to Nigeria to work on the Tryctor.

The Tryctor is Femi’s innovation - a mini tractor modelled on the motorcycle. By attaching various farming implements, it can carry out similar operations as a conventional tractor to a smaller scale. Farming for most small scale farmers in the continent is tough, laborious and characterized by low productivity. Small scale farmers are constrained by the costs involved in switching to mechanized agriculture and use of heavy equipment. However, through inspired alterations to a motorcycle’s engine, gearing system and chassis, this innovation has made it possible to mechanize agriculture in Africa for small scale farmers in a way that was previously inaccessible.

Additionally, the Tryctor is easy to use and cheaper to maintain as 60% of its parts and components are locally sourced. The IPA judges were captivated by the clever adaptation of a motorized solution that is ubiquitous in Africa, largely for transportation to a solution for mechanized farming for small scale farmers.

Samuel Rigu
Safi Sarvi Organics (Kenya)

Samuel Rigu graduated with a degree in Agribusiness from the University of Nairobi in Kenya, and had previously founded two agribusiness companies. In 2013, inspired by visiting colleagues from MIT, Samuel co-founded Safi Organics.

Safi Sarvi Organics is the name of Samuel’s innovation - a low-cost fertilizer made from purely organic products and waste from farm harvests, designed to improve yields for farmers by up to 30%. Rural farmers in sub-Saharan Africa pay huge costs for fertilizer, which is often produced abroad and imported. Owing to such high costs, farmers can only afford the cheap, synthetic, and acidulated fertilizer varieties. In many areas where the soil is inherently acidic, use of acidulated fertilizers can lead to long-term soil degradation and yield loss, at about four percent per year.

Safi Sarvi costs the same as traditional fertilizers, can reverse farmers’ soil degradation and lead to improved yield and income. The product uses biochar-based fertilizer which can counteract soil acidity, retaining nutrients and moisture in the soil. Additionally, the carbon-rich fertilizer removes carbon from the atmosphere by at least 2.2 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per acre of farm per year.

Kit Vaughan
Aceso (South Africa)

Kit Vaughan is the CEO of CapeRay Medical. He has a post-doctoral fellowship in orthopaedic engineering from Oxford University, was a professor at the University of Virginia, and was the Hyman Goldberg Chair in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Kit is a Fellow of the International Academy for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Kit developed Aceso, an imaging technology, capable of performing full-field digital mammography and automated breast ultrasound at the same time, dramatically improving breast cancer detection. Annually, there are more than half a million cancer deaths in Africa and these numbers are expected to double in the next three decades. If diagnosed early enough, the cancer can be treated successfully.

However, because 40% of women have dense tissue, their cancers cannot be seen on X-ray. Furthermore, a false negative finding can have devastating consequences. Aceso is a single device that can acquire dual-modality images – full-field digital mammography and automated breast ultrasound - at the same time. This world first system is protected by international patents and has been successfully tested in two separate clinical trials with 120 women.

Valentin Agon
Api-Palu (Benin)

Dr Valentin Agon is from Benin and specialises in alternative medicine; he has received a doctorate for his research in this field. Valentin has been the recipient of several awards - both for his work on alternative medicine and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa.

Valentin developed Api-Palu, an anti-malaria drug treatment made from natural plant extract. It is significantly cheaper than available anti-malarial drugs, and has great inhibitory effects on 3D7 strains of plasmodium falciparum the causative agent of malaria. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 88% of malaria cases and 90% of malaria deaths reported globally (WHO: 2015) with some African governments spending up to 40% of their public health budgets on malaria treatment.

Api-Palu manifests as a fast rate of malaria parasite clearance from the blood following short term treatment, with relatively lower doses. It is available in tablets, capsules or syrup. The drug has been approved in Benin, Burkina Faso, Tchad, and Central Africa Republic because of its therapeutic and non-toxic effects.

Johan Theron
PowerGuard (South Africa)

South African Johan Theron has a National Diploma for Technicians in Electronic Engineering. He has been involved in a number of ventures in the electronics industry dating back to the 70s and has seen a number of his inventions becoming industry standards. He has also been recipient of a number of innovation awards.

Johan developed PowerGuard, a technology that enables consumers to determine the maximum amount of power supply required for daily operations. Consumers can thus reduce their power demand, especially during peak times, leading to more efficient power supply, and helping to reduce power cuts. PowerGuard addresses electricity fluctuations, and power delivery and supply challenges by reducing the peaks, relieving pressure on the electricity network. Consumers can set their own maximum peak power usage needs.

This technology substantially reduces load shedding and power rationing, diverting power to more productive industries. Africa faces a high demand for grid power, but with limited resources and an aging infrastructure, the existence of a smart grid can help reduce the pressure on existing infrastructure while moving the continent slowly towards renewable energy.


The following five thematic areas have been selected for the IPA 2016 competition:

Selection process & criteria

The IPA competition follows a rigorous seven step selection process. IPA applications are then evaluated against the following five criteria:

IPA 2016 Prizes

The Prize offers the following to nominees, and much more:

Check out the IPA past winners: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Meet our IPA 2016 Judges

IPA judges are drawn from across Africa, and mustdemonstrate experience in business, entrepreneurship and scientific evaluation. Each year, IPA carefully selects ateam of expert judges with experience in the identified IPA priority areas.



Regional Director East Africa – Bankable Frontier Associates Kenya, IPA 2016 Head Judge and IPA 2014 Judge

Prof. Barthelemy


Professor Department of Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Yaounde, Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Teaching, Professionalization and Development of ICT, University of Bamenda, Cameroon

Dr. Catherine


Regional Head – East Africa, Fieldstone Private Capital Group, Kenya

Dr. Nhlanhla

South Africa

Chairman - South Africa Technology Innovation Agency, Chairman of the Board The Innovation Hub, Honorary selection panel member, former IPA validator

Dr. Toluwalogo


Assistant Professor - Science, Technology & Society, University of Virginia, School of Technology (USA) and former IPA validator.


Nationality: Kenyan
Regional Director East Africa – Bankable Frontier Associates
Chairwoman and former IPA judge

Amolo is the East Africa Regional Director of Bankable Frontier Associates (BFA), a consulting company specializing in financial services for low income populations. One of BFA’s flagship projects includes financial diaries chronicling the lives of low income individuals in several African countries. Until 2015, she was Managing Director of Digital Divide Data Kenya Ltd (DDD), a social enterprise that provides data and research services to companies and governments employing young people from disadvantaged backgrounds while supporting their higher education.

Amolo joined DDD after a stint at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation where she was Deputy Director, Financial Services, in the Global Development Program. As Deputy Director she worked to improve the scale, range and impact of financial services available to the poor in developing countries. Prior to her work at the Gates Foundation, Amolo was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Trust for African Rock Art, Nairobi. Prior to that she served as co-founder of Africa Online, East Africa's first internet provider that operated in eight countries before being bought over by Telkom South Africa. Amolo holds a B.A. in Psychology and Social Relations from Harvard University and a Master's in Public Affairs from Princeton University.


Nationality: Cameroonian
Professor, Department of Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Yaounde 1, Cameroon
Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Teaching, Professionalization and Development of ICT, University of Bamenda, Cameroon

Professor Nyasse Barthelemy has lectured at the University of Yaounde since 1986 after obtaining his PhD in Chemistry of Materials, alternating between the University of Yaounde (Faculty of Science, Department of Organic Chemistry) and the National Museum of Natural History Paris (Chemistry Laboratory). After two years of academic services at the university, he joined the University of Uppsala for his second PhD, awarded to him in 1995.

After living in Sweden for six years—where he interned with multi-national pharmaceutical companies, acquiring knowledge on the protection of Intellectual Property (IP) assets and knowledge transfer—he returned to the University of Yaounde in 1995 where he was appointed Professor of Master in 2005. He is also an Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch in South Africa. He teaches organic chemistry and research methodologies in scientific research at the University of Yaoundé and the University of Bamenda. He is the author of several scientific publications on the chemistry of natural products, intellectual property and organic synthesis.


Nationality: Kenyan
Regional Head – East Africa, Fieldstone Private Capital Group

Dr. Catherine Adeya-Weya is an Information Scientist with knowledge and skills in information development issues. These include social, political and economic potential and impacts of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) particularly in Africa. Dr. Adeya has over 20 years’ experience in ICT research, having worked for agencies such as the United Nations University/Institute for New Technologies (UNU-INTECH) in the Netherlands.

Dr. Adeya has been published widely in the field of ICTs for Development. She served as the Vision Sector Director for Business Process Outsourcing/Information Technology Enabled Services (BPO/ITES) at the Ministry of Information and Communications in Kenya from 2012-2013. Her job involved providing strategic leadership for the development of key flagship ICT projects in the Ministry which included Konza Techno City and the National Broadband Strategy. She was the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KOTDA), the agency responsible for spearheading the development of Konza Techno City - the first mixed use technology city in Kenya.

Dr Adeya was the Chief Judge in the first Vision 2030 ICT Innovation Awards in Kenya. She serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Perspectives on Global Development & Technology.


Nationality: South African
Chairman – The Innovation Hub Management Company (TIHMC)
Honorary juror and former IPA validator

Dr. Nhlanhla Msomi’s career has spanned research, academia, corporate advisory and entrepreneurship. He worked as a molecular geneticist focusing on genetic mapping of complex polyploids, before joining the Durban University of Technology (Microbial Biochemistry and Genetics). He quit academia to co-found a biotechnology investment holdings company, with interests in a Molecular Pathology start (BioPath Laboratories) and a large Bioprocess company (SA Bioproducts). Dr. Msomi has served as a partner in a corporate advisory firm (now Quartile Capital) responsible for, inter alia, the operationalisation of the Kwa Zulu Natal (KZN) Growth Fund, a public-private partnership fund and establishing an investment ventures division. He was also a member of the founding Investment Committee of the Southern African Intellectual Property Fund. He is currently group CEO of MSQ Health (a company of Safika Holdings’ healthcare portfolio).

He has intermittently returned to public service, first as the CEO of the East Coast Biotechnology Regional Innovation Centre and then interim CEO of the Technology Innovation Agency. He has also served on the Boards of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Council (CSIR), National Advisory Committee on Innovation (NACI), and South African Society of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (as President). In addition to chairing the TIHMC board, he is a member of the Board of Governors at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB).


Nationality: Nigerian
Assistant Professor - Science, Technology & Society, University of Virginia, School of Technology
Former IPA validator

Dr. Odumosu’s academic work focuses on telecommunication policy and the engineering of mobile systems on the African continent. His work touches on communications research, the development of national engineering infrastructures and the growth of trans-national markets across the continent. He has conducted research on mobile communications in Nigeria and South-Africa, and undertaken a comparative study of the development and emergence of the telecommunications industry in the European Union and United States.

In addition to teaching, conducting research at UVA and consulting at PF Syztems, one of the most innovative and successful professional audio design firms in Nigeria, Dr. Odumosu is also a research associate at Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Business. He has just completed a book on the importance of science and technology policy, and research cultures to innovation and the competitiveness of nations.


IPA is hosted by the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) in collaboration with the Government of Botswana (GoB) represented by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology (MIST) and the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH). The decision to host IPA in Botswana received the highest endorsement from H.E. President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, the President of Botswana, who will preside at the Awards Ceremony. Read more . . .



About the innovation landscape in Botswana

Characterized by an emerging ecosystem of budding innovators, especially in the sectors of ICT, Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Clean Technology, the Botswana innovation landscape albeit nascent in the area of commercialization, has tremendously developed over the past decade as evidenced by the establishment of fundamental innovation drivers such as the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH).

This growth is evidenced through key developments in multi-national partnerships, national policy, strategic multi-sector convergence and commitment from relevant stakeholders representing academia, and both the private and public sectors. Such partnerships have paved the way for the development of locally and globally relevant innovations that are making remarkable stands on international platforms.

Some of these innovations include the first ever solar powered hearing aid from Deaftronics, developed by the hearing impaired for the deaf; another is an economic farm management platform known as Modisar, the first of its kind in Botswana. Botswana continues to position its innovation landscape - not only as a key driver of Botswana’s economic diversification - but as a key player in the regional African sphere from an infrastructure, regulation and investment standpoint.

Welcoming Africa and the world to the African Innovation Foundation’s (AIF) Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2016 event in Gaborone signifies the comprehensive cohesion and co-existence needed to catapult the country towards achieving these ideals. The Government of Botswana (GoB) recognizes the importance of not only preparing the ground for innovation locally through committed funding towards establishing its first science and technology park, but also realizes that the journey towards a knowledge economy must be planned. By preparing the ground for investments and investors from beyond the perimeters of the country, and sharing the journey of innovation, our milestones will be achieved. To know more about the Botswana innovation landscape, please visit

Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology

The Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology (MIST) is an organ of government that is responsible for the provision and maintenance of infrastructure development, nuclear-safe environment and research, and science and technology products for the sustenance of the economy through effective coordination and a regulatory framework.

The Ministry comprises three departments as follows:

  • Department of Research Science and Technology (DRST) which is responsible for providing leadership in science and technology in Botswana through the provision of an enabling policy and legislation environment and coordination of science and technology activities in the country

  • Department of Building and Engineering Services (DBES) responsible for maintenance and project implementation services; and

  • Department of Radiation Protection Inspectorate (DRPI) is responsible for administering the safe use of atomic energy and nuclear technology.

To achieve its mandate, the department is responsible for carrying out licensing and statutory inspections of all facilities that use nuclear sources and radiation generating equipment such as x-ray machines.

Botswana Innovation Hub

The Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) is a company wholly owned by the Government of the Republic of Botswana. The company has been set up as a product of the National Excellence Strategy of 2008 which proposes a three-pronged national strategic goal; these include economic diversification, job creation, and moving the country towards a knowledge-based economy.

BIH aims to develop an advanced Science and Technology Innovation (STI) capital with related activities in the country by attracting innovators, channeling the requisite support services and conditioning the investment climate.

At the center of this work is the attractive state-of-the-art Science and Technology Park. Around this, BIH is building opportunities in tenancy, membership, a globally-connected innovation ecosystem, and world-class client services.


Visa information

Here is a list of countries whose nationals require/do not require a visa for entry into Botswana. Entry requirements can change, so please contact your local Botswana embassy to verify this information.


The IPA 2016 Awards ceremony event venue is The Grand Palm. All activities/workshops linked to the AIF African Innovation Ecosystems connector will take place at the Innovation Village to be set up at the BIH Iconic building. This is located near Sir Seretse Khama International Airport, adjacent to the Diamond Technology Park in Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana.

The Grand Palm

Just a few minutes from the city centre of Gaborone and 12km from the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport, lies The Grand Palm Hotel Casino and Convention Resort. Here you will find the luxurious 187-key Peermont Walmont and the 149-key 3-star Peermont Metcourt Inn, 4 dining options, live entertainment, a thrilling Casino, a Salon and the Camelot Health and Beauty Spa, all underpinned by warm Botswana hospitality.

Visit Website

Other Hotels

PeerMont Mondior

Conveniently located within the event venue ( The Grand Palm) premises, the 4 Star Mondior Hotel is a recommended accommodation for our event. Located in the city’s business district, its offers 67 semi self-catering suites and studios all of which are equipped with modern technology to meet the standards of any discerning business traveler.

Visit Website

Lansmore Masa Square

Welcome to Lansmore Hotel offers quality accommodation. Lansmore Masa Square in Gaborone, Botswana. Connecting You in Gaborone, Redefining hotel experience for corporate travellers, the 5-star Lansmore Masa Square in Gaborone, Botswana offers a perfect balance of business and pleasure.

Visit Website

Tourism opportunities in Botswana

Learn more about tourism opportunities here

We have also negotiated rates with the hotels below.
Peermont Walmont Ambassador

Avani Gaborone Hotel & Casino

Cresta President Hotel

Town Lodge

Falcon Crest


The IPA 2016 event and its associated Innovation Ecosystems Connector will take place on 22nd and 23rd June 2016. The Awards ceremony is planned for the evening of June 23rd from 7pm. You should arrive on June 21st if you plan to attend both the Innovation Ecosytems Connector workshops and Awards ceremony. A detailed agenda will be available soon. In the meantime, check out the range of activities lined up for you

Wednesday - 22nd

  • 1

    8:00 PM
  • 2

    Ecosytems Connector workshops
    9:00 PM

Thursday - 23rd

  • 1

    8:00 PM
  • 2

    Awards Ceremony
    9:00 PM


IPA 2016 promises to be bigger and better than ever before – and what a great news story, starting now until the Awards, and beyond! Not only are we celebrating five years of African ingenuity, but we have great stories on innovation to share, from small community developments to game-changing ideas worthy of headlines - and we cover the continent, from Cape to Cairo!

Here are the voices of our valuable partners and former IPA country hosts who have travelled with us along our five-year journey of rewarding African ingenuity – from Addis Ababa to Gaborone …

Our Social Media

Walter Fust |

Chairman of the Foundation Board

Ambassador Walter Fust is Chairman of the Board for the African Innovation Foundation, providing strategic guidance to the Foundation’s mandate. After studying Public Administration at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, he commenced his diplomatic career, serving Swiss embassies in Baghdad and Tokyo.

He subsequently assumed various functions in the Federal Administration and in the private sector, including the role of Personal Assistant to Federal Councilor Dr. Kurt Furgler, Minister of Economy and President of the Swiss Confederation. W. Fust then became Managing Director of the Swiss Trade Promotion Office (OSEC) and Secretary General of the Ministry of Interior. He headed the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for 15 years.

Since his retirement, Amb. Fust holds mandates in the Broadband Commission for Digital Development (ITU/UNESCO) and the UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA). He chairs the Global Crop Diversity Trust (Bonn) and serves on the boards of the Coalition for Dialog on Africa/CoDA,the Library of Alexandria, CATIE, the American University for tropical agriculture and forestry in Costa Rica, and different national Foundations.

Amb. Fust is a well-known and a widely-connected personality in international development, with particular knowledge and expertise in trade, development and humanitarian affairs.

Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais |

Founding Board Member

Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and philanthropist with a deep interest in African socio-economic development. In 2003, Mr. Bastos de Morais founded Quantum Global Group (QGG) an international group of companies focused on African development, particularly in the fields of corporate finance advisory, asset and private wealth management, real estate and investment consulting.

As the Chairman of the QGG Advisory Board, he provides instrumental expertise on financial markets, especially across Africa and other emerging markets. More recently in 2014, he established Quantum Global Research Lab, which aims to provide bottom up econometric models for inclusive development in Africa. In 2008, Mr. Bastos de Morais founded Banco Kwanza Invest, Angola’s first investment bank. As a Member of Board, he advises on the bank’s strategic direction.

At the core of his philanthropic work is the African Innovation Foundation (AIF), an organization he founded in 2009 to drive African-led development through fostering innovation. Key programs of the AIF include the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), the African Law Library (ALL) and the Social Impact Program for Angola (SIPA).

The AIF initiated and implements the annual IPA which was launched in 2011 in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). In 2012, the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) passed a resolution to promote an innovation-based society in Africa.

Mr. Bastos de Morais is on the advisory board of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) and the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business. He is also a member of the international Board of Foundation for, a leading global network that advocates ethical corporate and social practices.

He began his career as a management consultant and holds a Master of Arts in Management from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland.

Elodie de Warlincourt |


Elodie de Warlincourt is Director of the African Innovation Foundation, responsible for overall management of the Foundation, with a key emphasis on social impact programming. She focuses on market-based approaches for poverty reduction, promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa.

Elodie has 14 years’ experience in private sector development and project management in international development programs and humanitarian aid. Prior to joining AIF, she worked for the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, managing a portfolio of programs that supported SME finance and entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Earlier in her career, Elodie focused on development strategies, donor policies and coordination with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, as well as accompanying the OECD peer review of Swiss cooperation. She represented the International Committee of the Red Cross in Kosovo and Eritrea, and has worked for the Inter-parliamentary Union in Geneva and Moscow, as well as at UNCTAD in Geneva.

Elodie has an MSc in Philosophy and in Development Management. The values of her work, the potential to transform her environment, identify new opportunities and innovate, as well as achieving tangible performance-related results are her main motivation.

Elodie is married and has two wonderful daughters. She lives with her family close to Zürich.

Aulora Stally |

Communications manager

Aulora Suerga Stally is the Communications Manager for AIF, responsible for shaping the Foundation’s overall communications and media outreach, as well as branding and marketing.

Aulora has more than 12 years’ experience in leading, managing, designing, implementing and monitoring communication programs in Africa. She has served as the Africa communications focal point for leading agencies such as Gates Foundation, International Media Women’s Foundation, Open Society Institute, UNAIDS, SAfAIDS, World Bank, EU, Water Supply and Sanitation Council (WSSCC).

Having worked in both the private sector and in development, Aulora has spearheaded extensive training and facilitation on public health and knowledge networking in east, west and sub-Saharan Africa. She authored a capacity building program series for African NGOs in Botswana (Academy for Education Development), designed and implemented the payroll audit communications plan (World Bank, Zimbabwe), conceptualized the east African health media strategy (USAID, Kenya) and supported SADC in advocacy communication towards the 2015 Millennium Development Goals.

Aulora has written several development publications and training manuals, targeting wide audiences, including the media and young people in Africa.She has an MA in Mass Communications from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom.

She is based in Zurich with her children, and is a Zumba dance fitness enthusiast.

Tshepo Tsheko |

Director, ICT & Marketing
(Botswana Innovation Hub)

Tshepo Tsheko is the Director, Marketing and ICT at Botswana Innovation Hub. He assumed the role after a three year stint as founding Programme Manager of the Botswana Innovation Hub’s hybrid incubator/accelerator, First Steps Venture Centre (FSVC).

Tshepo has a vast international exposure amassed from three continents, extensive business networks and a wealth of work experience gained from global blue chip companies. With an extensive 10 years’ experience in the ICT and business administration fields, Tshepo has been a Business Analyst at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company in New Jersey, USA, Technical Consultant at Hewlett Packard in Chester, UK and Group IT Manager at Turnstar Holdings in Gaborone, Botswana. He has also worked as Systems Analyst and Senior Operations Associate – Technical Services at Bristol-Myers Squibb in the US and UK respectively.

Tshepo holds a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from the Pennsylvania State University, College of Engineering and is a promising candidate for a Master’s in Business Leadership for the University of South Africa, School of Business leadership.

Tshepo is the Founder of Pivot Point, a human innovation company, born in Africa, which specialises in assisting individuals and companies to unlock and nurture their innovation potential so they can adapt, innovate and thrive.

Alan Boshwaen |

Chief Executive Officer
(Botswana Innovation Hub)

Alan Boshwaen is Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH). BIH is a state-owned company with a mandate to develop and operate Botswana’s first Science and Technology Park. This facility will promote and facilitate research, development, education and innovation activities, as well as support start-ups and existing companies to grow. BIH attracts companies, universities, research institutes and advanced training institutions to develop in the Botswana Innovation Hub, and also seeks to establish strategic joint ventures and collaborations.

Alan has extensive experience in both financial services and the banking sector, and was former CEO of the Botswana International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). He held senior management positions with Standard Chartered Bank Botswana and Barclays Bank of Botswana. Alan has also worked for Debswana (De Beers Botswana) Diamond Mining Company. He holds BA Honors in Industrial Psychology and Business Administration from the University of Kent at Canterbury and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Cape Town. He is a non-executive Board Member of the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the University Of Botswana School Of Business.

Budzanani Tacheba |

Director of Cluster Development
(Botswana Innovation Hub)

Budzanani was a research fellow at the University of Botswana where has worked in different research projects. He worked as Regional Coordinator for a geo-spatial data project under SADC and as Acting Coordinator in the Botswana Innovation Hub project office where he facilitated the establishment of BIH as a private company. Budzanani has served as Board Member in the Medical Education Partnership Initiative and currently serves on the Botswana Geoscience Institute Board.


Download our SPONSOR PARTNER document HERE!

Why IPA 2016 needs you!

IPA is creating an innovation movement across the continent, with a contact base of over 6000 innovators from 50 African countries, motivated partners and colleagues from both the private and public sector, and a focus on young people and women. As a potential sponsor, you can gain substantial benefits from being associated with IPA 2016. Due to the high visibility and exposure generated at the event, as well as related media coverage, we believe this is a great opportunity for any partners and/or sponsors to work jointly with us to innovate Africa’s future. Besides this, you have the opportunity to contribute to Africa's prosperity! Our stories boast success across the continent, and can be replicated for sustainable development, the best way to achieve inclusive economic growth for all Africans. You can check out our past winners and read more about us on

It is with excitement and enthusiasm that we invite you to participate as a sponsor and/ or partner in the next IPA event to be held in June 2016 in Gaborone. We have tailored a selection of marketing and sponsorship opportunities to increase exposure and add value to your organization. Your participation as a sponsor/partner will visibly demonstrate your organization’s commitment towards driving innovation and contributing to Africa’s growth story.

Due to the Pan-African component of this event, marketing, networking & partnership opportunities are immense!


  • The Ministry of
    Science & Technology

  • The Botswana Innovation Hub

  • World Intellectual Property Organization

  • The Innovation Hub

  • SeedStars

  • BTV

  • CNBC Africa

  • Djembe Communications

  • IC Publications

We thank our continuous media partners that have been supported us over the past five years

  • BBC World News

  • CNN

  • Juene Africa

  • TV5 Africa

  • Forbes

  • African Brains

  • Al-Jazeera

  • Vox Africa

  • African Report

  • VC4 Africa

  • All Africa

  • BBC Radio

  • BIZ Tech Africa

  • CIO East Africa

  • France 24

  • The Huffington Post

  • Human IPO

  • How We Made It In Africa

  • Le Point Afrique

  • NPR

  • SABC

  • VentureBurn

  • Business Report

  • Wall Street Journal

    Platinum Sponsors

  • Dimension Data

  • Gold Sponsors

  • BITC

  • Brand-Botswana

  • Silver Sponsors

  • Botswana Fiber Netwoks (BOFINET)

  • Limkokwing-Logo

  • FNB bank

  • Other Sponsors

  • The Grand Palm Hotel


African Innovation Foundation

  • Aulora Stally
  • Communications Manager

  • Pfingstweidstrasse 10, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland
  • Phone: +41 (44) 515 54 68
  • Mobile: +41 (79) 834 9163
  • Email:

For general Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) inquiries:
or use the form below

Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH)

  • Tshepo Tsheko
  • Director, ICT & Marketing

  • Phone: +267 391 3328
  • Mobile: +267 71 341 972
  • Email: