RAE Calls for Applications for the 2025 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

The call for applications for the Africa Prize 2025 comes days after RAE announced the winner and runners-up of Africa Prize 2024 at an event held in Nairobi, Kenya.

Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) has opened and begun accepting applications for its 2025 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation —an annual competition stimulating the creativity of individuals and startups in sub-Saharan Africa proposing scalable engineering solutions that address local challenges.

The Africa Prize 2025 is open to engineers and entrepreneurs across Africa who have developed or are developing new technological innovations promoting the welfare and economic development of a country or countries in sub–Saharan Africa and is designed to address a development need or specific challenge facing that country.

The announcement of the call comes a few days after RAE announced the winner and runners-up of Africa Prize 2024 at an event held in Nairobi, Kenya on Thursday, June 13th, 2024.

Esther Kimani, winner of the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. COURTESY PHOTO
Esther Kimani, winner of the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. COURTESY PHOTO

Esther Kimani (from Kenya) was crowned as the overall winner for her solar-powered tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) enabled cameras to detect and identify agricultural pests and diseases in crops early —reducing crop losses by up to 30% and increasing yields by as much as 40%.

Kimani received a grant of USD$60,000 (approx. UGX224.7 million, KSH8.3 million) the largest ever awarded to a winner in this competition —the reason, the Africa Prize was celebrating its 10th Anniversary. Kimani’s funding will support the development and scaling of her device, bringing its benefits to a wider audience.

The runners-up in Africa Prize 2024 each received USD$19,000 (approx. UGX71.1 million, KSH2.4 million) to further improve their solutions. The runners-up were;

  1. Kevin Maina (Kenya) — Eco Tiles: Eco-friendly roofing materials made from recycled plastic. Stronger and lighter than traditional tiles, this innovation tackles both plastic pollution and high building costs.
  2. Rory Assandey (Cote d’Ivoire) — La Ruche Health: An AI chatbot tool on WhatsApp, “Kiko,” connects communities to vital health information and services. It also includes a digital backend solution to streamline documentation, billing, and data sharing for healthcare practitioners.
  3. Martin Tumusiime (Uganda) — Yo-Waste: A mobile application that connects homes and businesses to independent agents for efficient on-demand rubbish collection and disposal.

The 2025 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, launched at the 2024 finals, is now open for entries. The academy is seeking scalable engineering solutions to local challenges. Individuals and small teams living and working in sub-Saharan Africa are invited to enter before October 15th, 2024. Here is the APPLICATION GUIDE. Applicants have been advised to read the guidance notes, FAQ, and eligibility before submitting their application.

Shortlisted candidates go through eight months of tailored training and mentoring culminating in a showcase event. Prize money of up to £60,000 is split across five prizes, with the overall winner receiving £25,000 along with three runners-up, who are each awarded £10,000 and a One to Watch prize of £5,000.

The Africa Prize provides a unique opportunity to support innovative minds tackling significant global challenges while promoting economic prosperity and sustainable development in Africa through engineering.

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation was launched in March 2014 to stimulate, celebrate, and reward innovation and entrepreneurship across sub-Saharan Africa. Since then it has provided invaluable training, mentoring, and communications support to 149 businesses across 23 countries, and established an alumni program with 71% of Africa Prize alumni currently generating revenue.

The alumni have raised USD$39 million (approx. UGX146 billion) in grants and equity.

Notably, Uganda has managed to have two (2) overall winners in the competition. Anatoli Kirigwajjo, founder of YUNGA, a local rescue network providing low-cost security by connecting neighbors with the police, and Brian Gitta, founder of Matibabu, a device that tests for malaria quickly, accurately, and without having to draw blood. Kirigwajjo and Gitta won the competition in 2023 and 2018 respectively.

On the other hand, Uganda has also had six (6) finalists and eleven (11) shortlisted for all the competition. (ALL WINNERS IN ALL COMPETITIONS)

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