African innovators won Zayed Sustainability Prize’s 2019 awards

Zayed Sustainability Prize 2019 Awards CeremonyAfrican innovators excelled at this year’s Zayed Sustainability Prize annual awards ceremony on 14 January 019, winning in three out of five categories including energy, food and global high schools

The 2019 Zayed Sustainability Prize, which is the UAE’s one of the pioneering global awards in sustainability, honoured leaders whose work and spirit of enterprise has resulted in working solutions across communities around the world.

With more than 2,000 submissions from 130 countries, the highest number of applications came from Africa, which is a testament to the growing role African innovators are playing in global innovation. 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.

In congratulating the winners, Dr Lamya Fawwaz, director of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, said, “In a world of changing the 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.”

The Winners

Picking up the Prize in the Food category was Tanzania’s Sanku, for its flour fortification machines that equip and incentivise small-scale, local millers to fortify their flour with life-saving nutrients. Sanku has installed 150 fortification machines in flour mills across five East African countries, impacting the lives of almost one million people daily by providing them with safer and healthier food sources.

The winner in the Energy category was BBOXX, which has developed a plug-and-play solar device offering users an on-grid experience in an off-grid setting - a truly transformative solution that is changing hundreds of thousands of lives in Africa. The company has so far installed more than 150,000 solar systems across 35 countries many of which are in Africa and has connected over 675,000 people globally with clean, affordable energy solutions.

Within the Global High Schools category, the African Leadership Academy in South Africa won for its proposed creation of a water treatment machine called ‘The Living Machine,’ a device they designed to treat greywater for use in greenhouses. Their proposal also included the implementation of solar power to reduce electricity costs, savings that will be used to fund additional renewable energy projects, waste management and best agriculture practices.

In the other categories, ECOSOFTT was awarded in the Water category for its decentralised community water management standard, which outlines a set of solutions for source management, water use, water recycling and discharge. In the Health category, ‘We Care Solar’ received the award for its Solar Suitcase, a portable maternity device to assist with childbirth and related medical services in off-grid rural areas.

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