Fatou Juka Darboe Wins Runner-up of the 2021 Africa Engineering Innovation

fatou juka darboe
Gambian engineer Juka Fatou Darboe with her Africa Prize for Engineering nominated innovation "Make 3DMedical" in Sukuta, Gambia, January 2021. Photo ©Ousman Fye/GGImages/Proof Africa

Gambian innovator, Fatou Juka Darboe puts the country on the map in the world of engineering in the Africa Prize Engineering for Innovation (APEI) – UK Royal Academy of Engineering.

She is a runner-up of the 2021 Africa Prize for Engineering innovation. Fatou Juka Darboe wins £10,000 for Make3D Medical, which uses 3D printing to create customised orthopaedic equipment for medical institutions and their patients. The company designs and produces devices to treat fractures, such as braces, splints, connectors and spare parts for medical devices.

An Ivorian Chemical Engineer Noël N’guessan won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s 2021 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation with a biowaste equipment innovation for smallholder farmers in West Africa to efficiently manage and generate income from biowaste. N’guessan is the second Ivorian to win the Africa Prize and the first to win with an Ivorian-based innovation.

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, founded by the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering in 2014, is Africa’s biggest prize dedicated to engineering innovation and has a proven track record of identifying successful engineering entrepreneurs. Now in its seventh year, it supports talented sub-Saharan African entrepreneurs with engineering innovations that address crucial problems in their communities in a new and appropriate way.

Sixteen shortlisted Africa Prize entrepreneurs from eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa received eight months of training and mentoring – conducted virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic – during which they developed their business plans and learned to market their innovations. The group received coaching on communicating effectively, focusing on customers and approaching investors with confidence.

The Africa Prize also exposes and connects the shortlist to individuals and networks in the UK and across Africa who can accelerate their business and technology development – from fellow entrepreneurs and mentors to potential investors and suppliers.

The eighth Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation is now open. Individuals and small teams living and working in sub-Saharan Africa, and who have an engineering innovation, are invited to enter. Potential entrants can find more information here. The deadline for entries is 20 July 2021.

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