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Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation awarded to Dr Askwar Hilonga

By Faeza
02 June 2015

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation has awarded a winner in the continent-wide competition to find the best new technologies that can impact on development.

At a Cape Town hosted event to announce the winners, Tanzanian Dr Askwar Hilonga earned first prize.

"We are empowering them [university students] to come with innovations that can impact their communities. I can't imagine the explosion because of this [prize], because now they see it's a reality," said Dr Askwar Hilonga in his acceptance speech.

Hilonga is from the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science & Technology in Tanzania and invented a low-cost water filtration system that utilises sand-based water filters and nanotechnology.

He beat out finalists Ernst Pretorius from Pretoria who invented a low-cost fence-mounted security system, Musenga Silwawa from Zambia with his spot fertiliser applicator and Samuel Wangui from Kenya for a SIM-card swapping service.

For 38 year-old Hilonga though, the prize is confirmation that the engineering challenges in Africa can be solved by young people.

Full story on fin24tech.