An Egyptian professor at the Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Mohamed Sanad, has been awarded the US$100,000 Innovation Prize for Africa 2012.
Prof. Sanad bagged the coveted award for inventing the first small internal integrated micro strip antennas for cellular phones, which significantly reduced the interaction between the human body and the radiation from cellular phones.
He was among the seven finalists shortlisted for the award, which was presented Monday evening in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the sidelines of the Conference of African Finance Ministers meeting here.
The second award of US$50,000 went to Zeinou Abdelyamine of Algeria for his project on the “use solar, save lives” programme that involves the design, production and distribution of solar powered lanterns to poor rural households without electricity and helping communities set up economic ventures from the money initially spent on Kerosene.
The Innovation Prize for Africa is a joint African Innovation Foundation/ UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) initiative that honours and encourages innovative achievements that contribute toward developing new products, increasing efficiency or saving cost in Africa.
“I came back from America where I was based because I had a dream. I wanted to bring back my success to my country and the continent,” Prof. Sanad said when he accepted his award.
The awards were presented by UN Under-Secretary General and ECA Executive Secretary Abdoulie Janneh and Jena-Claude Bastos de Morais, co-founder, African Innovation Foundation (AIF).
According to AIF, 458 applications were received from 38 countries.
The other five finalists are Kenya’s Susan Stephanou and Evan Wadongo, Alemayehu Getahun of Ethiopia, Nigerian Joel Nwakaire and Rui Bram from Angola.