Tag: Uganda

Ugandan Inventor Brian Gitta, 24, Wins Royal Academy of Engineering’s Prestigious Africa Prize for Bloodless Malaria Test

Brian Gitta, a 24-year-old Ugandan, became the youngest winner of the Africa Prize this week for developing a bloodless test for malaria. (Photo courtesy Royal Academy of Engineering/Twitter)

by Sara Shayanian via upi.com

June 14 (UPI) — A Ugandan inventor has won the Royal Academy of Engineering‘s prestigious Africa Prize for developing a method of testing for malaria without drawing blood.

Brian Gitta, 24, became the prize’s youngest winner Wednesday after he and his team developed Matibabu, or “medical center” in Swahili, the Royal Academy of Engineering said in a statement.

Gitta’s low-cost, reusable invention clips onto a patient’s finger and provides a result within 60 seconds on a mobile phone. A red beam shines through the user’s finger to detect changes in shape, color and concentration of red blood cells — all of which are affected by malaria.

“We are very proud of this year’s winner. It’s a perfect example of how engineering can unlock development — in this case by improving healthcare,” Africa Prize judge Rebecca Enonchong said. “Matibabu is simply a game-changer.”

Shafik Sekitto, a member of the Matibabu team, told BBC News Gitta came up with the idea for a bloodless test after it once took four normal blood tests for medics to diagnose him with malaria — the leading cause of death in Uganda. “[Gitta] brought up the idea: ‘Why can’t we find a new way of using the skills we have found in computer science, of diagnosing a disease without having to prick somebody?” Sekitto said.

Gitta won more than $33,000 as the first-place winner at a ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya, where Africa Prize judges and a live audience voted for the most promising engineering innovation. Three runners-up won more than $13,000 each. “We are incredibly honored to win the Africa Prize — it’s such a big achievement for us, because it means that we can better manage production in order to scale clinical trials and prove ourselves to regulators,” Gitta said.

“The recognition will help us open up partnership opportunities — which is what we need most at the moment.”

The award, founded by Britain’s Royal Academy of Engineering in 2014, is Africa’s biggest prize for engineering innovation.

Source: https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2018/06/14/Ugandan-inventor-wins-Africa-Prize-for-bloodless-malaria-test/9671528995279/

Scholars Lorna Goodison, John Keene, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi and Suzan-Lori Parks to Receive $165,000 Windham-Campbell Prizes From Yale University

via jbhe.com

Lorna G (photo via tallawahmagazine.com)

The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University has announced the eight winners of this year’s Windham-Campbell Prizes in the fields of fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry. Each winner will receive a $165,000 prize at an international literary festival at Yale in September.

Four of the eight winners of this year Windham-Campbell Prizes are Black. Three have ties to academic institutions in the United States.

Lorna Goodison, a winner of a poetry prize, is a professor emerita at the University of Michigan, where she served as the Lemuel A. Johnson Professor of English and African and Afro-American studies. She currently serves as poet laureate of the nation of Jamaica. Professor Goodison has published 13 collections of poetry including Supplying Salt and Light (McClelland & Stewart, 2013).

John Keenes (photo via vice.com)

John Keene, a professor of English at Rutgers University-Newark is the recipient of a Windham-Campbell Prize in the fiction category. He is the author of the short story collection Counternarratives (New Directions, 2015) and the novel Annotations (New Directions, 1995). Professor Keene received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a master of fine arts degree from New York University.

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (photo via lareviewofbooks.com)

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, a native of Uganda who now lives in England, won a prize in the fiction category. Her debut novel Kintu (Transit Books, 2014) tells the parallel stories of the fall of a cursed bloodline—the titular Kintu clan—and the rise of modern Uganda. Dr. Makumbi earned a Ph.D. in African literature from Lancaster University in England. She has taught creative writing at several universities in the United Kingdom.

Suzan-Lori Parks

Suzan-Lori Parks won an award in the drama category. She is a professor of creative writing at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Parks is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. She is a former MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award” winner. Professor Parks was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for her play “Topdog/Underdog.” In addition to her plays, Parks is the author of the novel Getting Mother’s Body (2003).

Source: https://www.jbhe.com/2018/03/four-black-scholars-to-receive-165000-windham-campbell-prizes-from-yale-university/

Tanzanian Women Use Solar Technology via Solar Sister Project to Gain Financial Independence

Solar Sister
Members of the Solar Sister project in Tanzania. Rural Reporters (photo via face2faceafrica.com)

article by Frederick Ngugi via face2faceafrica.com

Hundreds of Tanzanian women are gaining financial independence by supplying renewable solar energy utensils to their friends and relatives in the rural areas.

With the help of Solar Sister, a social enterprise established to help women learn about sustainable energy and participate in its expansion, these women have become solar evangelists and entrepreneurs in their rural communities.

“We’re deliberately including women as part of the clean-energy chain and really changing the narrative from ‘oh, these poor women, they are victims’ to women as change agents,” Neha Misra, a co-founder of Solar Sister, told E&E News.

How Does It Work?

Currently operating in Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria, the Solar Sister project was established to empower African women with knowledge about the benefits of using clean energy.  The project also provides rural women in Africa with an opportunity to earn a living by selling a catalog of solar energy and clean cooking stove equipment within communities that do not have access to electricity.

Solar Sister enables women to make a profit by negotiating with the manufacturer on their behalf as well as giving them continuous mentoring and training. Each product is tailored to specific needs of the intended consumer to guarantee quick sales.

Solar Sister in Uganda
Members of Solar Sister in Uganda. (Revelation Life)

Speaking to the Guardian on Saturday, Hilaria Paschal, a Solar Sister entrepreneur, said she has already sold solar products to more than 1,000 customers, earning her enough money to pay school fees for her children and to expand her basket weaving business.

Paschal is now mentoring other Tanzanian women keen on gaining economic freedom.

To read full article, go to: https://face2faceafrica.com/article/tanzanian-women-solar-technology

 

World Economic Forum Names Top 5 African Female Innovators

Three of WEF's top five African women innovators (photo via VenturesAfrica.com)
Three of WEF’s top five African women innovators (photo via VenturesAfrica.com)

article by Fumnanya Agbugah via VenturesAfrica.com

On Friday, the World Economic Forum on Africa presented the five winners of the conference’s challenge to find Africa’s top women innovators. The winners, whose innovations were from the areas including mobile health insurance, solar powered vending carts, bio medical materials and IT training as well as food processing, hail from Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

Currently, Africa has the youngest population in the world and this is expected to double by 2045. In view of this, several global leaders have attested to the fact that Africa’s future lies in the hands of its youthful population. The region’s start-up businesses are gaining confidence and scale with a growing number of innovations achieving recognition beyond the region’s borders. However, a lot still has to be done in order to create an enabling environment that will allow women to flourish. Due to this set back, the World Economic Forum decided to run this competition to find Africa’s top female innovators especially as the potential of women entrepreneurs is far from optimum.

“I strongly believe that the 21st century will be Africa’s century, that its young population has the potential to build a world where they are not only materially better off, but also where things are fairer, more sustainable and more tolerant than at any other time in history. But this will not be achieved unless women are able to make a full contribution. This is why we are showcasing Africa’s best female entrepreneurs in Kigali this week,” said Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa at the World Economic Forum.

Here are Africa’s top female innovators, selected based on the criteria for the WEF Africa challenge. This required entrant companies to be less than three years old, be earning revenue for at least a year and have proven innovation and positive social impact.

Natalie Bitature – Musana Carts, Kampala, Uganda

Natalie Bitature - Musana Carts, Kampala, Uganda

Musana Carts has used frugal innovation to develop environmentally friendly, solar-powered vending carts. With a price point of $400, each Musana Cart saves 3,000 tons of carbon emissions and improves the health of cities by eliminating pollution from charcoal and kerosene stoves.

Audrey Cheng – Moringa School, Nairobi, Kenya

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Audrey Cheng established Moringa School to enable an entire generation gain the skills they need to compete in the digital economy. Two years on, graduates work in the top tech companies in the region, earning, on average, 350 percent more than before they completed the course.

Continue reading “World Economic Forum Names Top 5 African Female Innovators”

Obama Allocates $300,000,000 to Fight HIV Infections in Young Women in Africa

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President Barack Obama (PHOTO BY ALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGES)

In an effort to combat HIV infections in girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African nations hit hardest by the virus, the Obama administration recently announced a $300 million program to help reduce the growing numbers according to The Associated Press.

The administration hopes to see a “25 percent infection reduction in females between ages 15-24 by the end of next year and a 40 percent reduction by the end of 2017,” the report says.

“No greater action is needed right now than empowering adolescent girls and young women to defeat HIV/AIDS,” said National Security Adviser Susan Rice of the program credited with saving millions of lives in Africa, writes The AP.

The new goals represent the next phase of the program, which was started by President George W. Bush and broadened by President Barack Obama, the report says.

The Obama administration releaased the new targets before “a U.N. summit on development goals for lifting people around the world out of poverty. Obama is scheduled to address the development meeting on Sunday,” writes The AP

About half of all new HIV infections among girls and young women last year are from the 10 countries countries targeted by the new initiatives, including Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, The AP says.

Read more at The Associated Press

article by Lynette Holloway via theroot.com

Google Expands Low-Cost Phone Program to Several African Countries

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Google is attempting to make cell phones affordable for people living in six African countries. Google announced the “Hot 2″ phone, which will cost only $88, would be sold in stores in Nigeria and offered by online retailer Jumia in five other countries: Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Morocco.

Although the phones being released in Africa will be ‘bare minimum’ when it comes to technology in them, the company hopes that it will be a start pointing for getting more people online.

Google, Facebook and other Internet companies are trying to get more people online in places like Africa so they can expand their audiences and eventually sell more digital advertising.

As part of that effort, Google already has built a fiber-optic network to provide faster Internet access in Kampala, the capital of Uganda.

article via clutchmagonline.com

Ugandan Journalist Nancy Kacungira Wins BBC World News Komla Dumor Award

Nancy Kacungira (photo via sde.co.ke)
Nancy Kacungira (photo via sde.co.ke)

A Ugandan journalist with a background as an entrepreneur, radio and TV reporter and presenter has won the first BBC World News Komla Dumor Award.

Nancy Kacungira, a television anchor for Kenya’s KTN television channel, was selected from nearly 200 applicants.

She will spend three months at the BBC in London and also report from Africa for the BBC TV, radio and online.

The award was established to honour Komla Dumor, a presenter for BBC World News, who died suddenly aged 41.

Ms Kacungira said: “I am stunned, but also ecstatic upon hearing this news. I am so greatly honoured and humbled to be the winner of this award.”

“I owe it to the continent that I fiercely love and am dedicated to, to do my bit to expand the often dogmatic and skewed narratives that have beleaguered it for so long.

“To be a part of continuing Komla’s legacy is such an honour it feels almost like a dream. I will do my very best to justify the great trust that I have been awarded, and ensure that the benefit of this opportunity goes far beyond myself.”

One of the judges, BBC Africa’s current affairs editor, Vera Kwakofi, said: “Nancy is incredibly smart with a breadth and depth to her knowledge and experience that comes across instantly.”

The BBC’s Director of News and Current Affairs James Harding, said: “When Komla Dumor died, it was an enormous loss to the BBC, to Africa and to all of us personally.

“I am delighted that in Nancy we have found an extremely passionate and talented journalist, a worthy winner of the award that we established in Komla’s name.”

Nancy grew up in Uganda where she attended Makerere University in Kampala. She has more than 14 years of experience working across a range of media in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania as well as a Masters degree in communications from Leeds University.

She is currently the anchor of Prime Time Evening News on KTN where she is also the channel’s social media editor. There are two runners-up for the award: Leila Dee Dougan from South Africa and Paa Kwesi Asare from Ghana.

Komla Dumor was an exceptional Ghanaian broadcaster who in his short life made an extraordinary impact – in Ghana, in Africa and around the world.  He represented a confident, savvy and entrepreneurial side of Africa.

Through his tenacious journalism and compelling storytelling, Komla worked tirelessly to bring a more nuanced African narrative to the world.

article via bbc.com

Uganda Native Sanga Moses Awarded $1 Million to Boost his Innovative Energy Business, Eco-Fuel Africa

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Sanga Moses is a passionate social entrepreneur. Six years ago the Uganda native started a remarkable journey to launch a clean and sustainable energy initiative in his homeland.

In an audacious move, he quit his accounting job with just $500 in savings to find a solution to Uganda’s over reliance on wood-fuel for cooking, which was causing deforestation and socio-economic issues in his impoverished community.

In an interview with UrbanGeekz, he says he was inspired to take action after he witnessed his 12-year-old sister skip school to carry firewood to their family for fuel. At that moment he knew he had to do whatever he could to find an alternative source of fuel, he says.

“When my sister saw me, she started crying and told me she was tired of missing school to gather firewood,” he says. “This troubled me so much because I was paying school fees for my sister and wanted her to get an education.”

Moses spent a year researching possible solutions until he figured he could turn farm and municipal waste [sugarcane waste, coffee husks and rice husks etc.], which was abundant, into eco-friendly cooking fuel, that’s cleaner and 65 percent cheaper than wood-fuel.

By April 2010, Sanga launched Eco-­fuel Africa. “I had to sell most of my belongings, including my bed, to pay for the launch,” says Moses, who’s a Business Administration college graduate. “Even so, Eco-­fuel Africa [EFA] introduced its first products in November 2010, less than two years after I saw my sister carrying her bundle of wood.”

Eco-­fuel Africa trains farmers to turn agricultural waste into char powder, which is used as a substitute for wood-fuel. The non-profit serves more than 115,000 people on a daily basis and demand for their fuel exceeds supply. It uses its proceeds to plant trees. The target is to plant at least a quarter of a billion trees in Africa by 2020.

“Fewer forests are being depleted and there are more jobs for women and farmers since Eco-­fuel Africa began,” he adds, “ We have also seen more girls enroll and stay in school. Currently, 4,209 marginalized girls in Uganda are able to go to school consistently because of our project.”

“Now that we have found an effective formula, I am determined to expand the system and replicate it to other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa,” Moses says.

In fact, Eco-fuel Africa is the 2014 recipient of Verizon’s 2014 Powerful Answer Award, a global challenge that rewards ideas that leverage cutting-edge technology to create solutions that deliver social good.

To read the rest of this story, click through to: urbangeekz.com

Obamas Launch “Let Girls Learn” Education Initiative

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President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama put their weight behind Let Girls Learn on Tuesday, an initiative to help girls around the world attend secondary school and complete their education.

“Let Girls Learn” began as a United States Agency for International Development effort last summer, and featured a video with celebrities like Alicia Keys and Shonda Rhimes. The goal was “to provide the public with meaningful ways to help all girls to get a quality education,” building on past work on girls’ education and empowerment around the world. Now, the Obama administration will enhance existing programs and expand efforts across the government and through partnerships with the private sector.

“A good education can lift you from the most humble circumstances into a life you never could have imagined,” the first lady said Tuesday when she and the president announced the plan. “I see myself in these girls. I see our daughters in these girls,” she said. “I want to use my time and platform as first lady and beyond to make a real impact.”

According to a FLOTUS tweet, women and girls make up 70 percent of those living in extreme poverty around the world, a fact that education can help change. Approximately 62 million girls around the world are not in school, explains a fact sheet published Tuesday by the White House, with half that number representing adolescent girls.

“These girls have diminished economic opportunities and are more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, early and forced marriage, and other forms of violence,” the fact sheet says. “Yet when a girl receives a quality education, she is more likely to earn a decent living, raise a healthy, educated family, and improve the quality of life for herself, her family and her community. In addition, girls’ attendance in secondary school is correlated with later marriage, later childbearing, lower maternal and infant mortality rates, lower birth rates, and lower rates of HIV/AIDS.”

imagesThe first lady will work with the Peace Corps to develop community-based solutions and recruit and train volunteers. During the first year of the program, the Peace Corps will implement Let Girls Learn in 11 countries—Albania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Georgia, Ghana, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Togo, and Uganda—and will expand to additional countries the following year.

The initiative will include programs focused on education, empowerment and leadership, health and nutrition, preventing gender-based violence, and preventing child, early and forced marriage.

Partnerships with the private sector include commitments from the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution, CARE, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., PBS Learning Media and the U.N. Foundation’s Girl Up campaign.

To join the efforts please go to letgirlslearn.peacecorps.gov

article by Stav Ziv via newsweek.com

HEALTH: TOMS Celebrates World Sight Day on October 9 to Help Restore Vision to Those in Need Around the Globe

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by Lesa Lakin #givesight
article by Lesa Lakin
#givesight

One of the great things about being the Lifestyle Editor for GBN is that I sometimes get to share positive stories about things that people and companies are doing purely for the betterment of society. When I heard about World Sight Day and TOMS I had to share.

From a fashion standpoint, I simply love the styles. I discovered TOMS had an eyewear line when my own eyesight started to de-crisp a few years back. Since no one wanted to read me food labels, pill bottles or menus anymore, I knew it was time for glasses to become a daily part of my life. But it wasn’t really that big of a deal because I had the privilege of going to the doctor, getting a prescription and driving the saleswomen completely nuts when I couldn’t decide which frames best flattered my face. I’m lucky. But what about the millions globally who can’t afford glasses or don’t have access to proper eye care? Everyone on the planet knows someone who is affected by some sort of visual impairment and TOMS wants to help out.

TOMS is asking a very important question: WHAT DOES SIGHT MEAN TO YOU? Every year, World Sight Day raises global awareness about blindness and visual impairment. This year, World Sight Day is on October 9 and TOMS is hosting an all-day event at the their Flagship store in Venice, California. TOMS is also supporting the day by encouraging fans to take to social media and contribute to an Instagram gallery with images of what sight means to you with the hashtag #givesight. The images collected with the designated hashtag will be curated online leading up to October 9, and select images will appear in TOMS stores around the world on World Sight Day.

Continue reading “HEALTH: TOMS Celebrates World Sight Day on October 9 to Help Restore Vision to Those in Need Around the Globe”