Launched in 2014, the Africa Prize aims to stimulate, celebrate and reward engineering entrepreneurship in Africa.

Video © Sarah Fretwell.

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, is Africa’s biggest prize dedicated to engineering innovation. It awards crucial commercialisation support to ambitious African innovators developing scalable engineering solutions to local challenges, demonstrating the importance of engineering as an enabler of improved quality of life and economic development.

An eight-month period of tailored training and mentoring culminates in a showcase event where a winner is selected to receive £25,000 along with three runners-up, who are each awarded £10,000.

Five years of the Africa Prize (9.15 MB)

Interactive tool - explore the shortlists and winners of the Africa Prize from 2015-2020


Academy recognises the ambitious African innovators transforming Africa

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, run by the Royal Academy of Engineering, today announced its 2020 shortlist, recognising ambitious African innovators developing scalable engineering solutions to local challenges.

This year’s shortlist includes the creators of a smart library on wheels, facial recognition software to prevent financial fraud, a low-cost digital microscope to speed up cervical cancer diagnosis, bamboo bicycles made from recycled parts, and two innovations made from invasive water hyacinth plants: an animal feed and a cooking fuel.

The 2020 shortlist represents six countries, including, for the first time, Malawi. Six of the shortlist are female innovators.

Press release: Royal Academy of Engineering recognises the ambitious African innovators transforming Africa


Meet the 2019 winner

Africa Prize judges Dr John Lazar CBE FREng and Mariéme Jamme present South African Neo Hutiri of Pelebox with the Africa Prize winner's medal
A 31-year-old South African electrical engineer has won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s 2019 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. Neo Hutiri is the first South African to win the prestigious Africa Prize.

Hutiri and his team developed Pelebox, a smart locker system designed to dispense medicine to patients with chronic conditions. Pelebox is used at public healthcare facilities in South Africa, cutting down on long queues and easing pressure on the healthcare system.

The team win the first prize of £25,000. At an awards ceremony in Kampala, Uganda on 4 June 2019, four finalists from across sub-Saharan Africa delivered presentations, before Africa Prize judges and a live audience voted for the most promising engineering innovation.

Press release: Smart medicine dispenser that could improve access to treatments for millions wins the Africa Prize


The Africa Prize is generously supported by The Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund and the UK Government's Global Challenges Research Fund.

Historical sponsors have included Consolidated Contractors Company, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Africa Prosperity Fund, ConocoPhillips and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

If you would like to know more or are interested in being involved please contact the Africa Prize team at the Royal Academy of Engineering.