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Morocco wins at innovation awards

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The African Innovation Foundation (AIF), in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy in Morocco, has named researcher Adnane Remmal the winner of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2015 Grand Prize, which pays out $100 000 in cash.
Remmal’s extensive research process will provide African farmers with a solution to improve livestock production while taking into account consumer health needs.

Alex Mwaura Muriu of Kenya won second prize, and South African Lesley Erica Scott was awarded the Special Prize for Social Impact, receiving $25 000 each.

Remmal impressed the expert panel of judges, competing with 10 excellent African innovations spanning the health, environment, technology and agricultural sectors.

His innovation, a patented alternative to livestock antibiotics is 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.

“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 antibiotics,” he says.

Murui, a Kenyan entrepreneur, developed a system to meet the perennial challenge faced by African farmers in accessing capital to finance planting and harvesting by providing an alternative from the burden of financial loans through his Farm Capital Africa project.

Today, TB is second only to HIV and AIDS as a leading cause of death in the continent. Using the Smartspot TBCheck, Scott, a South African scientist, has developed an effective World Health Organization (WHO) approved calibration method for TB diagnostic machines.

Since its inaugural launch in 2011, IPA has attracted about 3 000 applications from 49 African countries. Jean Claude Bastos de Morais, AIF founder, is pleased with the level of innovations this year – a total of 925 applications from 41 countries. Commenting on the role of IPA in fostering innovation in Africa, De Morais says: “I am truly impressed with this year’s winning innovations, which have once again surpassed expectations.

“At the same time, I am aware that the buck cannot stop here. Let us put it this way; no matter how high a bird flies, it always needs a nest, a base to come back to. African innovators are taking flight, their innovative ideas are increasingly proving to be transformative – not only for Africa – but for the world. Through the IPA, the AIF is fostering the development of robust innovation ecosystems, which are essentially nests for African entrepreneurs and innovators to develop solutions for African challenges.”