from ALEXIS DOUMBIA in Abidjan, Ivory Coast
ABIDJAN – AN innovation that enables smallholder farmers in West Africa to efficiently manage and generate income from biowaste has won the 2021 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.
The innovator, chemical engineer Noël N’guessan, is the second Ivorian to win the Africa Prize.
N’guessan won the first prize of £25 000.
N’guessan and his team designed and patented Kubeko to assist smallholder farmers and their cooperatives to generate more income from the by-products of their harvests, without any additional labour. Kubeko is a set of low-cost bio-waste processing equipment.
Its composter and biodigester are specifically designed to ferment agricultural post-harvest by-products into solid and liquid compost, and cooking gas.
“Bio-waste represents two to five times the quantity of crops or produce sold, amounting to 30 million tonnes of waste disposed of annually in Côte d’Ivoire,” N’guessan said.
“By repurposing this waste, Kubeko can help Ivorians generate extra income, dramatically improving the lives of thousands of farmers and their families,” the innovator explained.
The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, founded by the United Kingdom’s Royal Academy of Engineering in 2014, is Africa’s biggest prize dedicated to engineering innovation.
Now in its seventh year, it supports talented sub-Saharan African entrepreneurs with engineering innovations that address crucial problems in their communities in a new and appropriate way.
The three runners up, who each receive £10 000, are BlueAvo by Indira Tsengiwe from South Africa, Make3D Medical by Juka Fatou Darboe from The Gambia and Social Lender by Faith Adesemowo from Nigeria.
– CAJ News