Six Africans this month were awarded by the Duke of Sussex for their innovations and impacting lives.
Prince Harry at a special party in London to celebrate the Commonwealth’s 70th anniversary presented the awards to fifteen winners.
Six of those winners who are from Africa were recognized for doing exceptional works in the fields of innovation.
They each received the Commonwealth’s Innovation for Sustainable Development Awards trophy, a certificate and a £2,000 prize from Prince Harry who is the Commonwealth Youth Ambassador.
The commonwealth secretariat said “the winners were selected by an independent jury, based on the impact or potential of their innovations to advance one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.”
The six Africans among the winners are:
Rosette Muhoza, Rwanda
My Green Home is a social enterprise that is addressing the challenges of urban waste management, promoting green cities and fighting climate and plastic pollution through recycling.
John Oroko, Kenya
Selina Wamucii is an inclusive mobile phone driven digital platform and social enterprise for smallholder farmers that promotes prosperity by empowering smallholders/pastoralists to earn sustainable incomes.
Chukwudi Anyanaso, Nigeria
The People and Planet Life Foundation focuses on the need to tackle extreme rural poverty and hunger among female and small scale farmers by boosting agricultural production to support self-sustaining growth and employment.
Elizabeth Kperrun, Nigeria
Zenafri simplifies learning for African children and young adults by creating mobile applications and video content that educate them in their native languages and in contexts they understand. This also teaches children across the world about Africa’s culture, history, languages and heritage. With a focus on early education and gender, the applications have already been downloaded over 120,000 times with 2000 people using the apps every single day.
Peter Rubashumira Tibigambwa, Uganda
The Prisons’ Justice Change makers programme aims to address the barriers prisoners face to access justice such as lengthy pre-trial detention, inadequate access-to-legal advice and information, inadequate coordination and collaboration between the Justice, Law and Order Sector actors and prisons and inadequate utilisation of alternatives to incarceration.
Franca Ma-ih Sulem Yong, Cameroon
With studies linking social media use to increased rates of anxiety and depression, Franca Ma-ih Sulem Yong started the DigCit SDG project to direct young people’s energy towards positivity by encouraging them to use these same tools used for negativity towards contributing to the SDGs.
Reaction to awards
One of the African winners, Elizabeth Kperun said “This award will give us more visibility. It goes a long way towards helping us achieve our objective of making education more accessible for under-privileged kids in Africa.”
The Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland told the winners that “I hope you are as impressed as I am by the talent that is mobilised and multiplied through Commonwealth connection.
“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.”
It is hoped the competition will help shine the spotlight on revolutionary ideas that could improve prosperity, protect our planet, promote peace and justice and encourage partnerships in the Commonwealth.
The award scheme is in its first year and is open to all citizens and organisations of the Commonwealth’s 53 countries.