20 African Innovators To Watch

For decades the African continent has been struggling to develops amidst poverty, poor leadership, among others that have been said to lag the continent behind. This country that has vast natural resources however has intelligent minds. Good brains that have tirelessly thought and came up with the best innovations that Africa and the rest of the world has to watch out for. This articles concurs with that fact and describes a list of 20 African innovators from diverse disciplines to watch. The Africans innovators were selected across the continent on the basis of their impact and potential of their ideas and processes in transforming the continent despite the challenges that the continent faces.

Arthur Zang: The Cardiopad

Arthur Zang The Cardiopad

This 24 year old cameroonian Engineer designed a computer program installed on a tablet that diagnose heart diseases in rural households that sometimes have limited access to medical services and equipments. A program on the cardiopad collects signals from the heart that result from the rhythmic expansion and contraction of the heart. He explains that he further fixes electrodes near the patients heart to help facilitate the graphical depiction of the cardiac cycle that is wirelessly transmitted through a GSM network to a medical specialist who interprets and diagnoses the patients. The reason why this innovation is to watch is that, most Africans especially those residing in the rural areas have to travel long distances or are facing challenges to access these medical services in the cities. For this case, the residents were traveling almost 1000Km to Yaounde to get treatment. This innovation helps to save time, and money that can be used to venture in other sectors of innovation, plus sudden deaths are prevented due to lack of awareness of the heart conditions.

Zeinour Abdelyamine: Bit Bait Pesticide (Algeria)

Zeinour Abdelyamine

Another bright mind making it to the 20 African innovators to watch list is, Zeinour Abdelyamine. He spent almost a decade in United Emirates but returned to his native Algeria to established Bit Bait pesticide. This innovation is aimed at developing environmentally friendly products for pest control. Bit Bait is 100% natural and is free of chemicals such as insecticides. This innovation uses a physical rather than a chemical eradication method against pests. And it is an innovation to watch since overtime pests, and insects have grown resistant to most pesticides, insecticides and rodenticides. These existing chemicals have been know to work by attacking the nervous system of the pests, rodents, and insects. In contrast, Bit Bait attacks their digestive system. This is effective in killing them and hard to development resistance. Furthermore, Bit Bait is eco-friendly and during the manufacturing process there are no residue making it safer as it doesn’t cause pollution. Bit Bait is an innovation of its kind, both in Africa and the rest of the world.

Adnane Remmal: A patented alternative to livestock antibiotics (Morocco)

Adnane Remmal

This innovation involves the combination of natural phenolic molecules with antimicrobial properties to effectively reduce the health hazards that are prevalent to cattle and humans. Nevertheless it prevents the transmission of germs and other disease causing microorganisms through foods like meat, eggs and milk to humans at a cheaper cost.

Jean Bosco Kazirukanyo: OSP Cement (Burundi)

This advanced cement innovation can be used on fresh, old lubricant, or oil spills. The cement then chemically reacts with the contaminants forming tiny lumps. These lumps are then transported to transported concrete plants or factories where they are used as concrete additives. This innovation made it to this list of 20 Africans innovators to watch since it is efficient and can effectively recycle toxic oil spills that are currently being disposed off in improper ways in Africa and other parts of the world.

Alex Mwaura Muriu: Farm Capital Africa (Kenya)

Alex Mwaura Muriu1

This Kenyan innovator also makes it to the 20 African innovators to watch list. He developed a risk sharing agricultural business funding design that draws in investors for a share of farming profits. Moreover the invention establishes small scale farmers and in turn helps them formulate farming plans and methods to woo potential investors who earn profits over time. The reason why this invention or rather innovation is important is that, it is a viable solution to address the inability of committed, small scale African farmers or agri-businesses that have limited access to loans that will help expand their activities. Farm Capital Africa is the next step or the farming initiative and investment opportunity for these farmers.

Lesley Erica Scott: Smartspot TBcheck (South Africa)

Lesley Erica Scott

This TBcheck invention calculates or examines the accuracy and efficiency of medical machines used to detect TB when diagnosing. TBcheck is easy, cost-effective, and safe to use and is accessible to laboratories. Lesley invention, makes diagnosing TB easier and cheaper. This means a lot to the world, and Africa.

Neil Du Preez: Mellowcabs (South Africa)

Neil Du Preez1

This technologies involves the restoring of kinetic energy that is normally lost in the braking process and converting it into electricity and storing it. This invention is user friendly, and further provides information on the cab, for instance the location, wifi access and mobile charging during the ride. This provides safe and affordable micro transport within a three mile radius.

David Gluckman: Lumkani fire detection (South Africa)

David Gluckman


This fire detection device and alert service incorporates radio frequency transmission technology that triggers an alarm in case of a fire event or occurrence. This device works faster in about half a minute to transmit a signal setting off heat detectors over a range covering a circumference of about 400 meter. This invention makes it to the list since it works to prevent fires that might destroy properties in high populated areas over a wide area.

Johann Pierre Kok: Scientific engineering educational box: ‘Seebox’ (South Africa)

Johann Pierre Kok

A scientific engineering educational box that allows children to enjoy a practical and experimental way of learning the sciences and electronics, and measuring almost anything electronic or scientific. ‘Seebox’ also offers short videos explaining what is being measured. This tool addresses the shortage of electronic and scientific professionals, and affords children the opportunity to learn first-hand the principles of science and electronics by building, measuring and experimenting.

Emeka Uzoh: Cheap Interconnection Technology (Nigeria)

This innovator from Nigeria, is among the pioneers who have been in the front head of technological developments in Africa and the rest of the world. Nevertheless, he has been involved in technological improvements in sub micro features a technological invention used today in the semiconductor industry that is applied in cell phones, laptops, tablets, and other tech devices technology. This innovator is a must watch for Africa, and the world as a whole, his involvement in mobile and tech technology to make it cheaper has paid off.

Justus Nwaoga: Mimosa Weed Solar Energy (Nigeria)

This Nigerian Professor proposes the use of the Mimosa Pudica plant as a source of energy. This has since improved solar technology and attracted attention in the alternative energy discipline. He uses the ability of the weed mimosa pudica to accumulate solar energy. According to him, this is possible since the leaves of the weed react differently when the sun is shining and when its not. For instance, they open in the sun, and close when the sun sets. His further research discovered a compound in the plant that he calls black silicon. This compound is the major contributor to the plant’s sensitivity to light. His interpretation harnesses this technology for a successful application in production of solar panels that are unique.

Yemi Adesokan: Health Technology (Nigeria)


This is another Nigerian innovator whose ideas in health technology will change the perception of the world about the body’s response to disease pathogens. He makes it to the list since health being a primary factor in developments will improve highly with his ideas. And this may improve the effectiveness of drug performance in general without worries of the development of drug resistance by the body, and disease causing microorganisms.

Kyai Mullei, X: M-changa, also known as E-harambee (Kenya)

Kyali has developed a mobile app that empowers individuals and organizations to initiate and manage fund raisers via sms or web devices in an efficient and cost effective way. Combining mass market mobile communication with money transfer technologies, m-changa allows users to solicit support for a cause, track contributions, and withdraw funds using their mobile phones without relying on internet connectivity. This innovation brings the benefits of mobile technology to all Africans, integrating unique aspects of African culture with technological innovation.

Samuel O. Otukol: Water distillation system and process (dsp) (Uganda)

His innovation offers an alternative source of drinking water, especially in areas that have water shortages but have access to sea water since it is the only one available. He proposes the evaporation of sea water which is salty, at low temperatures preferably 30 to 50 degrees Celsius, then it is condensed into fresh water at cheaper costs. This innovation is essential for development as it can also use solar energy in rural regions, and to helps water shortages in drought-stricken areas.

Patrick Waweru: Traffic Control software (Kenya)

This University of Nairobi student developed a system that monitors and control traffic in the busy streets and highways of Nairobi, Kenya. His system uses sensors placed on the streets to detect vehicles parked in a particular area. The traffic jams in Kenya costs the country about 40 billion shillings yearly. This innovation is importantly since the huge money lost on traffic can be used in other economical sectors to further the country and Africa as a whole. It could also be implemented in other countries to save on costs.

Askwar Hilonga: A water filter which absorbs anything from copper and fluoride to bacteria, viruses and pesticides (Tanzania)

Tanzanian chemical engineer Askwar Hilonga, uses nanotechnology and sand to clean water. The technology is able to absorb chemicals and toxic substances like lead in water rendering it clean and safe for drinking. His invention can help about 70% of households in Tanzania and the rest of Africa, including other places in the world that do not have clean drinking water.

Anthony Mutua: Charging shoes (Kenya)

This technology or rather invention makes it to the list since it provides an ingenuous way of charging mobile phones. It uses the power of pedestrians. His invention comprises of ultra-thin chips of crystal which are fitted to the bottom of a shoe’s sole. As the user walks, it generates electricity through the pressure exerted when it is stepped on. It has a charging cable extension that runs from the shoe to the pocket.

Allan Cormack: CAT scan (South Africa)

This innovator who is a physist has love for he provided the mathematical technique for the CAT scan, in which an X-ray source and electronic detectors are rotated around the body, producing a sharp map of the tissues within a cross-section of the body.”

Pettie Petzer and Johan Jonker: Hippo Water Roller

This innovation is a barrel shaped container with a large screw cap and clip on steel handle. It has been designed to hold and transport 90 liters of water with ease. It solves the problem of transporting water from far distances in remote areas with water shortages. Women and children can collect more water i.e. five times more as compared to using buckets. Its easy innovative design allows for easy transportation. The tank is just rolled over the ground. The Hippo Water Roller has a positive social impact and saves energy and it reduces the struggle of getting water in remote communities.



Written by PH

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