Among the ten innovations announced as finalists for the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2014 is a domestic waste biogas system. The finalists were chosen from almost 700 applications from 42 countries.

The winners of the IPA 2014 will be announced at an awards ceremony on 5 May in Abuja, Nigeria, where keynote speaker, the Honourable Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Minister of finance, will highlight the importance of innovation to unlock Africa’s potential for sustainable development and economic growth. The winner will receive US$100,000 for the best innovation based on marketability, originality, scalability, social impact and clear business potential.  A runner up will receive US$25,000 for the best commercial potential and another winner will receive US$25,000 as a special prize for innovation with the highest social impact.

The domestic waste biogas system entered by Daniel Gitau Thairu of Kenya is a new type of biogas digester which utilises any material capable of decomposing instead of relying on animal dung to generate gas. Materials that can be used include dirty water, leftover food, spoiled grain, and vegetable and fruit peelings. This makes biogas usable even by households that cannot afford animals.

The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) believes that the best solutions to the challenges Africans face on a daily basis can and will come from Africans themselves and innovation is the key. The IPA selection committee represents private equity investors, seed funders, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, innovation catalysts and development leaders who are looking for ideas that move Africa forward.  The call for applications for IPA 2015 will be announced in July. For detailed information of competition categories, conditions of entry, and submission details, please visit: http://www.innovationprizeforafrica.org

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