Africa is so blessed with lots of bright minds and some of them have chosen to rise above their surrounding circumstances and use their quick mind and natural affinity for invention to help their immediate communities and their countries.
Their names will always be etched into the timeless rock of Africa as African young inventors who tried and succeeded in making their countries a better place.
1) KEVIN DOE: Light batteries for households, Broadcast radio machine, Electric generator
Kevin Doe is from Sierra-Leone and like almost every other country in Africa, Sierra-Leone has a light problem and this was the problem Kevin Doe aimed at solving when he was fifteen years old.
At fifteen, Kevin designed and built a battery that was able to generate light in households. The battery was designed using recycled items and acid, metal and soda wrapped together with tape.
Unlike most inventors, Kevin is a self taught engineer, he built an electric generator and a broadcast radio machine at the age of sixteen. Kevin builds his inventions from and with scraps found from scavenging bins and wastes. He has his own foundation called the KevinDoe foundation and the KDoe-Tech Inc.
Kevin has won the heart and admiration of the members of his country and he has also rightly earned the respect of established great minds like the Clinton family, Bill Gates and most presidents of African countries.
2) SAM KODO: Built Robotic Humanoids, Life book PC
Sam Kodo is a citizen of a small African country, Togo. Sam is seen as one of Africa’s greatest inventors.
At the age of nineteen, Sam designed and built a robotic humanoid that could communicate with humans. He started working on robots and robotics at a young age of seven.
Sam Kodo’s father was a physics lecturer at the University of Lome. This was probably why it was no big mystery that the young boy fell in love with electronics and robotics.
He read books that were clearly too advanced for him at his father’s library and he started experimenting with toys and gadgets his parents indulged him with.
Sam Kodo founded a company that makes low priced personal computers and smart phones. Sam invented Africa’s first low cost PC, the life-book PC.
3) EVANS WANDOGO:
Solar lantern that is eyes friendly
Evans Wandogo is from Kenya, he saw the terrible light situation in Kenya and he wanted to help his community. Evans started experimenting with light-emitting-diode (LED) Christmas lights.
He was finally able to design and build a solar lantern. The lantern spread like wildfire throughout Kenya and it’s also a common household item in Malawi.
The name of the solar lantern is Mwangabora, this means “good light” in English. The lantern is mainly made with recycled materials and Evans wanted the lantern to fight eye related diseases in Kenya and also to promote Education for children.
Brought up in a poor home, Evans understood the intricacies of poverty and he also wanted the lantern to help and join in the fight against poverty in Kenya.
Evans was listed as one of CNN’s top ten heroes and he was a finalist for the humanitarian hero award. He has brought a form of revolution to Kenya through his sustainable development non-profit organization and he is also a co-founder of GreenWize Energy Ltd.
4) THATO KGALHANYE:
Solar School Bags
Thato is a South-African young woman who had a solar technology inspired school bag. The bag was designed to help school children study for as long as 12 hours.
Thato designed the bags with a retro-reflective material for kids walking home from school after dark. The reflective materials would make them more visible and hopefully keep them safe.
She has a manufacturing plant in South-Africa, and her company is dedicated to recycling waste materials and also to manufacture import worthy goods from the materials.
Thato was duly awarded the SAB Innovative Award, the Master Card Foundation Anzisha Prize and the SA Innovation Summit Award. She has also gained recognition from notable magazine, Forbes and Bill Gates.
5) CHAKROUN ABDELLAH
Medical and Military Machines
Chakroun is a citizen of Morocco and he is one of the greatest African young inventors. He began designing and building things at the age of eighteen. At the age of 25, he already had about 35 inventive designs and two of those designs were patented.
Chakroun was and will always be an important part of revolutionary technological inventions in Africa. His inventions were bold and wide spread. They dealt with aspects like private mechanics of vehicles and medical and military inventions.
Chakroun had a goal to invest in Moroccan talented students, hence he rejected quite a number of foreign companies who wanted him to work for them.
Although he died in his early thirties from a heart attack, he will live on in the hearts of Africans and I daresay the world at large through his inventions which were a total of 37 before his death.
6) ARTHUR ZANG:
Medical tab for heart diagnosis
Arthur is from Cameroon and he invented the first ever handheld medical tablet for heart disease diagnosis.
His design is very important and significant in Africa, especially in the rural areas of African countries where they have infrequent access to medical care.
The device has a reliability rating of about 97.5%. The UK Royal Academy of Engineering awarded Zang the Africa Prize for engineering innovation.
7) THE FANTASTIC FOUR FROM NIGERIA:
Urine Powered Generator
The fantastic four were students of Doregos Private Academy in Lagos, Nigeria.
The students invented a generator set that was powered by urine. A liter of urine could power the generator set for about six hours.
Their invention was borne out of their desire to combat power limitations in Nigeria and to also save money in the process.
These wonderful girls are, Fourteen-year-olds Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, and Faleke Oluwatoyin, and 15-year-old Bello Eniola.
8) FARAI MUSENDO:
Plastics to Diesel
In a bid to reduce pollution and clogging in his country, Farai invented a device that could turn plastic into diesel.
He showed off his design at the Zimbabwe international trade fair and he explained that the plastics were able to produce up to 60% diesel. His creation was not tested out on live cars due to financial constraints.
Farai’s invention would solve the problem of fuel and diesel production and pollution at the same time. It really was a master piece and the design lent him a spot on the list of Africa’s young inventors. He was 24 at the time.
9) VERONE MANKOU:
First African Mobile Phone
Verone has more than earned a spot on African young inventors list because he not only founded VMK and invented the Way-C tablet, he also developed the ELIKIA, meaning ‘HOPE’.
Hope was Africa’s first mobile phone.
Verone also saw to it that his country, Congo, has an increased and easy access to internet.
There are several other Africans who have done great things for themselves and their countries both home and abroad.
However, these are the few we have been able to put together here for their age, peculiarity and ingenuity. Indeed, Africa is blessed and we’re just getting started.