As Alex Nyingi, the Microsoft Philanthropy Manager for sub-Saharan Africa puts it at a technology conference for nonprofits held in Accra recently, “we are in the fourth industrial revolution and what is physical and digital is getting blurry. Technology has become a part and parcel of our lives”
Ghana is not left out of this technological revolution as its young digital innovators are building technology run devices to solve local problems.
From building and selling 3D printers to designing robots from wood, below is a list of young innovators you should know about in 2017.
- Isaac Sesi, a 23 year old university graduate and his team have built a device called Nova FarmBuddy to assist farmers to remotely monitor and receive alerts on soil moisture, humidity, temperature and light levels. The device also allows farmers to remotely control their irrigation systems from their smart phones without physically being present on their farms. The group is currently working on the third prototype of the device which is still being tested. It is not yet ready for commercial production and will only be available when it is ready and funding is secured for commercial production in September 2017.
- Gideon Mensahis 24 years old and has also developed a multi-portable security manager from his home in a town in Kumasi, the second largest city in Ghana.
The security manager is a security system which allows only registered users or the one with the password access to a facility powered by the device. The device can also be used with a screen for interface unlocking like ATMs. It can also be used on drawers too.It uses a fingerprint sensor and a keypad to prevent unauthorised entry into a building. Attach it to your door and you can use either your fingerprint or password to protect your door.
Gideon Mensah hopes to attract investors to help commercialize it. Adding to that, Mensah builds and sells robot made from wood.
3.Michael Asante Afrifa26, together with his Co-founder Charlse Ofori Antepim, 25 have produced an affordable and portable science set or a mini lab that can fit on the desks of students. It is designed to allow students perform science experiment listed in their syllabus. According to Nana Kwame Opoku Jackson, a science teacher who has been running a mobile science lab for basic schools, most basic schools and even Junior High Schools in Ghana lack science laboratories making it difficult for school children to understand the subject, so this science set/mini will go a long way to improve how science is taught at the basic level.
4.To make 3D printers easily accessible and cheaper for people in Africa, Atanley Lolobuilds affordable 3Dprinters and sells them across Africa. ”What motivated me to build this was that I wanted to make it convenient to own a printer,” he said.
“The cost of printers, shipping and tax were too high, making it difficult for people to buy,” he added. Atanley, 28, who learnt how to build the 3D printer online currently sells his products across Africa at affordable prices.
- Robert Nsorh started playing and fixing discarded radio sets at the age of ten, so it was little surprise that just after Senior High School (SHS), he has built a device called “Boom-Box” from papers and plastics. The device has a Bluetooth radio which could be connected to a mobile phone via Bluetooth and it also has a fan to blow cool air on users. Attached also is a lamp. “Boom Box uses rechargeable lithium ion batteries salvaged from a power bank which could be manually recharge by rotating a spindle connected to a dynamo
With these interesting innovations, there is no doubt the future of African innovation rests on the shoulders of these young men.
Kudos to all young Ghanaian innovators working hard and defying the norms to add their voice to this digital revolution.
By Pamela Ofori-Boateng
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