AFRICANGLOBE – Led by the U.S. Department of State and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), this year’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) has released the list of top 15 finalists who will live pitch at the finals next November in Morocco, a list that boasts of 6 young Africans.
According to its website, GIST operates at the intersection of science & technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship to empower individual innovators and to strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems. It does so by equipping young men and women around the world with the skills they need to be successful entrepreneurs and leaders who turn their ideas into new venture that transform their communities.
Also, the initiative takes innovators from around the world, augments their skills, builds networks, and connects them with mentors and investors – from New York to Silicon Valley – that can help them realize their ambitions. Since 2011, GIST has mentored over 3,500 startups, generated over $21 million in financing, and engaged over 1 million innovators and entrepreneurs.
The 6 African finalists include a Ghananian, an Algerian, a Malawian, a Zambian and two Nigerians. The competition attracted some 502 applicants around the globe and the finalists were selected based on 405, 038 votes from the public and high scores from the panel of experts.
Of worthy note is the project by the Malawian, a third year Bachelor of Education student at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College named Mixon Faluweki. His project is a bicycle charger he named “Padoko.” It allows people who use bicycles for transport to charge their mobile phones and other digital gadgets on the move. This innovation can potentially empower a significant portion of Malawians living in rural areas who use bicycles for private and commercial purposes.
Additionally, the innovation will empower its users to enjoy the freedom of communication and a right to information as they remain connected to the global information grid.
Competitions like these simply showcase the real potentials of Africa – a continent already birthing innovative solutions and startups that will contribute to the further resurgence of the region.
By: Emmanuel Iruobe