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Africans shine in innovation space

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Picture: Grounded Media PR – Zahier Davids, owner of Flywheel Custom Chariots, now drives a green waterless car-wash business. In the past decade, there has been a surge of Africans taking over the innovation space, creating innovative contraptions and products that cater to African needs, the writer says

By Chad Williams

Africans are finding African solutions to everyday problems, and I think it’s absolutely brilliant.

In the past decade, there has been a surge of Africans taking over the innovation space, creating innovative contraptions and products that cater to African needs, bearing in mind the uniquely African challenges that we face as a people.

As the continent continues to grapple with an ongoing electricity crisis, one such innovator from Nigeria has created a sustainable tool to help Africans navigate our collective electricity crisis.

A Lago-based company by the name of Reeddi has created the Reeddi capsule, which essentially provides clean and reliable energy for your daily electricity needs.

The invention was so great that TIME magazine named it one of its best inventions of 2021.

Olubanjo Olugbenga (Olu) is the founder & CEO of Reeddi and this invention that has taken over Africa.

Olugbenga says that Reeddi leverages its proprietary technology to provide clean, reliable and affordable electricity to individuals, households and businesses operating in energy-poor regions of the world, which is exactly what Africa needs now to combat not only the electricity shortage, but also combat the growing climate change crisis.

Olugbenga’s innovation was also recently named TIME Magazine’s Best Invention of 2021, and was listed as one of Fast Company’s world-changing ideas.

Olu graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from University of Ibadan, and Masters in engineering from the University of Toronto.

He was awarded the University of Toronto John Wesley J Hall Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship. He also received the University of Toronto Social Innovation Award.

Olu says he constantly seeks to make a globally beneficial social, environmental and economic impact using technology and market-creating innovations that have kingdom-focused principles, and we thank you Olu for your brilliant invention!

As Africa continues to battle with a growing Climate Change crisis which is set to hurt the African continent the most, it’s going to take collective changes and effort from every individual to avert a global catastrophe.

Green Machine’s Waterless Car Wash System in South Africa is doing just that. The system, designed and created by South African motor retailers, Combined Motor Holdings (CMH), saves up to 200 litres of water per wash, which is huge as each car wash can typically use up to 300 litres of water.

So now you can get your car washed and save water at the same time.

According to a July Global Citizen report, the company is not the first in the world to come up with the waterless car wash, they have implemented several measures to make sure that each element of the washing experience is considerate of the environment.

This includes eco-friendly car wax made from carnauba palm wax, which is soluble and doesn’t contribute to water pollution, how brilliant is that!

If you thought a waterless carwash was innovative, think again!

As I was searching and reading up on some of the African inventions that are set to change the way we live, I stumbled upon this fantastic invention that is sure to blow your mind.

Egyptian students have designed a new silver and honey-laced material to accelerate the healing speed of diabetics’ wounds.

According to the website Design Indaba, a group of students from the American University of Cairo (AUC) have designed Nano Ebers, a dressing (plaster) that accelerates the rate at which wounds suffered by diabetics heal.

If you were not aware, diabetics characteristically suffer from poor or delayed healing compared to non-suffers because of a number of factors: narrow blood vessels in different parts of the body, low blood circulation and an inefficient immune system, according to doctors. Even the smallest of open wounds can become severely infected.

According to the inventor, the high honey concentration and nanofibre structure enhance the antimicrobial effect because the Nano Ebers material is air-permeable meaning it draws fluids away from the wound while still protecting the wound, if that’s not innovation, then I don’t know what is!

I would like to share one more invention that really blew me away.

Six years ago, Deaftronics created a solar-powered hearing aid battery charger from a workshop in Botswana. Now, the tech is going global.

According to the Design Indaba website, the Botswana-based company developed the first solar-powered hearing aid battery charger six years ago.

The creators said that they came up with the solar rechargeable hearing aid when they realised that most people in Africa and in developing countries are given hearing aids by non-governmental organisations,” said Tendekayi Katsiga, the founder of Deaftronics.

According to creators, the Deaftronics hearing aid is sold with a solar charger and four rechargeable batteries that last up to three years. The batteries can be used in 80 percent of hearing aids on the market today, according to Design Indaba.

Deaftronics enabled over 3,000 hearing impaired children to attend school and has sold more than 10,000 units in Botswana, Angola, Zimbabwe and South Africa. If you’re wondering how innovation can change the world, it is right there.

Well done African inventors, we’re watching you for more great inventions.

Williams is multimedia journalist for IOL News

This article is original to the The African. To republish, see terms and conditions.