There are far too many negative stories that are written about the African continent. Often the continent is associated with discontent and lack of infrastructure and innovation. This could not be further from the truth. Different countries in Africa are developing technology to improve people’s lives. This type of innovation is exactly what is needed to move swiftly into the 21st century. Here are some of our favourite African inventions/innovations:
1. 3D printing at Woelabs, Togo
Lalle Nadjagou from Dapaong in northern Togo, has always had a fascination with technology and design. It is no wonder that he is the mastermind behind Woelab’s 3D printing. They started making their own 3D printers using e-waste and have begun putting a machine in each school within 1km of the workshop. This could really revolutionise how our continent not only deals with e-waste and recycling but also new design technology.
2. Uganda’s biomedical jacket
University graduate and inventor Brian Turyabagye has created a biomedical smart jacket that can diagnose pneumonia faster than a doctor. He named the jacket “Mamaope“, or “Mother’s Hope” – referencing the 27 000 children who die of pneumonia in Uganda every year. The jacket has a mobile phone application with Bluetooth that does the diagnosis four times more accurately than a doctor. It analyses the chest and sends information to the smartphone via Bluetooth.
3. The world’s largest telescope in South Africa
Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) is the largest single optical telescope in the southern hemisphere and among the largest in the world. Called The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, it will be working with a square kilometre (one million square metres) of collecting area to be able to explore the universe.
4. Agricultural drones are the future of farming
The future of farming in Africa might include artificial intelligence. Software Company, Aerobotics has developed a combination of satellite, drone and artificial intelligence technology to help farmers. It gives farmers accurate data analysis of their crop performance in different seasons and highlights problem areas.
5. Robots in Kinshasa
Like many major cities around the world, Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo also has the same congestion problems. This is why a team of Congolese engineers at Kinshasa Higher Institute of Applied Technique have created human-like robots that can detect and record traffic flow. The info is then sent to the institution and analyzed and used to drive traffic.