BBOXX, which has presence in Kenya and regional market, Tanzania-based Sanku, and South Africa’s African Leadership Academy are among five global innovators that took home $600,000 after emerging winers in this year’s Zayed Sustainability Prize Awards.
The three topped in Energy, Food and Global High Schools categories respectively. Tanzania’s Sanku equips and incentivise small-scale, and local millers to fortify their flour with life-saving nutrients.
“Over 16,000 children die every day from illnesses that are absolutely preventable. We have a solution, and so we have the duty to keep fighting in order to reduce that number to zero,” said Sanku’s co-founder and chief executive Felix Brooks-Church when he received the award.
BBOXX, which operates in Kenya, Rwanda and Republic of Congo, has developed a plug-and-play solar device offering users an on-grid experience in an off-grid setting.
“We are passionate about harnessing pioneering data and technology to power economic growth and transform the lives of underserved communities living off-grid. Winning this award is an important milestone along our journey,” Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and co-founder of BBOXX said.
The African Leadership Academy in South Africa won for its proposed creation of a water treatment machine called ‘The Living Machine’.
The awards reflected the growing role of African innovators in playing global innovation after the continent recorded the highest number of applications.
“Their technologies addressed real-life social, environmental, health and economic challenges, as well as reflected the aspirations of a new generation of innovators within a continent that has one of the world’s biggest youth populations,” a statement issued by the organizers noted.
Dr Lamya Fawwaz, Director of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, said: “In a world of changing climate, and a rapidly growing population, developing sustainable solutions to meet rising food demand and provide energy access to people in remote areas is a global priority. These worthy winners among many strong candidates, are perfect examples of how to meet the Prize’s criteria of being innovative, inspirational and offering tangible impact within communities.