African innovators recognised at Commonwealth 70th anniversary

commonwealthThe Duke of Sussex has presented prizes to innovators in international development celebrating the Commonwealth’s 70th anniversary in London

Fifteen trailblasers won the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Innovation for Sustainable Development Award, with winners attending a special ceremony on 14 June.

Amongst them was Elizabeth Kperrun from Nigeria (pictured below), CEO of Zenafri – a company that simplifies learning for African children and young adults by creating mobile applications and video content that educates them in their native language.

Fellow winner Rosette Muhoza from Rwanda (pictured above) founded the social enterprise My Green Home, which recycles plastic waste by mixing it with sand to make eco-friendly paving stones.

John Oroko (Kenya), Chukwudi Anyanaso (Nigeria), Peter Rubashumira Tibigambwa (Uganda) and Franca Ma-ih Sulem Yong (Cameroon) were also recognised.

Each award winner received a trophy, a certificate and a US$2511.83 prize. They were selected by an independent jury, based on the impact for the potential of their innovations to advance one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The initiative seeks to showcase impactful innovations and forward-looking solutions that help countries advance the Commonwealth Charter values.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said, “There are also many other inventors and innovators of all ages in every country and community of the Commonwealth and it is they who drive us on towards a future of health, hope and harmony.”

The competition is set to help shine the spotlight on revolutionary ideas that could improve prosperity, protect the planet, promote peace and justice and encourage partnerships in the Commonwealth.

This is the first year of the awards, which were open to all citizens and organisations of the 53 Commonwealth member countries.

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