By Ogova Ondego
Published May 15, 2015
Kenya’s Alex Mwaura Muriu has won Second Prize in an all-Africa competition for the mother continentâ€™s â€œmost talented innovatorsâ€.
Farm Capital Africa, the entry that earned Muriu US$25000 cash prize in the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), is a “risk-sharing agri-business funding model that [not only] draws in investors for a share of farming profits” but also “identifies, screens and shortlists full-time farmers with small holdings and helps them devise farming plans to attract potential investors.”
Morocco’s Adnane Remmal, whose initiative seeks to provide “farmers with a solution to improve livestock production while taking into account consumer health needs”, beat Muriu’s innovation to the US$100000 Grand prize.
The third prize, dubbed Special Prize for Social Impact, went to South Africa’s Lesley Erica Scott; it came with US$25000 cash prize.
A media release from African Innovation Foundation that presented the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) in collaboration with Morocco’s Ministry of Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy of Morocco in the North African country’s town of Skhirat on May 13, 2015 says the “winners embody the Pan African essence of the prestigious Innovation Prize for Africa award, representing North, East & Southern Africa.”
These were just three of the 10 nominees for IPA 2015 whose innovations spanned the health, environment, technology and agricultural sectors.
Adnane Remmal’s innovation, a patented alternative to livestock anti-biotics, was described as being “set to transform the broader medical and agricultural sector in Africa. The natural innovative anti-microbial formula reduces health hazards in livestock, preventing the transmission of multi-resistant germs and carcinogens to human beings through consumption of milk, eggs and meat.”
Remmal said of his project, “My innovation provides farmers with solutions to improve their production; it is cost effective and can be easily adopted, giving farmers increased benefits without the side effects of anti-biotics.â€
Launched in 2011, IPA is reported to have attracted some 3000 applications from 49 African countries. All the 10 nominees of the 2015 edition of APA “received recognition through a US$5 000 voucher as a support fund to boost their different innovations in their home countries.”
IPA 2015 Awards ceremony was compered by Lerato Mbele of BBC Africa Business Report fame with Youssour Nâ€™Dour, the Senegalese musician, providing entertainment.