Magazine article New African

Creating a Continent's Future

Magazine article New African

Creating a Continent's Future

Article excerpt

AFRICA IS THE MOST YOUTH-FULL CONTINENT on the planet. Approximately 65% of the total population of Africa is below the age of 35 years, according to the African Union Commission. The youth of the continent are a great resource to economic and social development. If they are denied the opportunity to become involved in productive activities, there is a high possibility that their frustration will become a source of social and political instability. How do we encourage the former and avoid potential strife. By creating and transforming new knowledge into products, processes and services that meet market needs. In other words, we must innovate our future.

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For the past two years, the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) has awarded the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) to innovators and entrepreneurs who create solutions to some of the continent's most pressing challenges. Professor Mohamed Sanad (from Egypt) and Sanoussi Diakite (from Senegal), previous 1PA winners, are determined to make an indelible contribution to sustainable Africa-led economic growth. Sanad won the IPA 2012 for creating a new in-phone and mobile antennae that operates on all frequency bands and addresses the challenges faced by existing antennas. Since winning the IPA, Sanad has invented a new technology and patent for chips in mobile phone With existing technology, as one travels through different countries, various frequencies are constantly picked up and mobile signals are IOSL Sanads new antenna covers the bandwidth of 4G, weighs 10kg instead of 100kg, and will eventually promote the use of one network across all frequencies.

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Winning the IPA 2012 has attracted the attention of various telecommunications firms who want to do business with Sanad; he has been contacted by AT&T, Motorola and Samsung for possible collaboration and he has signed a contract with Vodafone. In addition, Sanad has been in talks with various venture capitalists. "The IPA has played a vital role in boosting the profile of my entrepreneurial ventures," says Sanad. "Winning the Prize has helped to create visibility for my work in a way that may not have happened otherwise."

IF WE GIVE THE YOUTH THE CONFIDENCE TO INNOVATE, THEIR FUTURE CAN BE AS BRIGHT AS THEY ALLOW THEMSELVES TO IMAGINE IT

In Senegal, Sanoussi Diakite is tackling the massive global challenge of food security and nutrition. The IPA 2013 winner in the social impact category is known as the world's biggest champion of fonio. He believes that the highly nutritious cereal can eradicate food shortage and malnutrition on the continent. …

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