The 2022 Africa Prize in Engineering Innovation selects Afomia Andualem for her design of ‘Agelgil.’ The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation was founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering and is Africa’s biggest prize dedicated to engineering innovation. It supports African innovators in creating scalable engineering solutions to local challenges.
Afomia is an Electrical Engineer and CEO & CO-founder of Agelgil. She is the only Ethiopian candidate for 2022 and the second innovator from Ethiopia to be selected since 2015. Pazion Cherinet is the first African Prize winner. Cherinet developed Orbit Health, a digital health platform.
Agelgil is an eco-packaging and tableware created from agricultural by-products like barley and wheat straw. Afomia aims to create a sustainable industrial cycle that reduces waste throughout the supply chain.
Afomia and her team developed the process and machinery needed to convert crop waste into solid packaging. She created Agelgil to reduce plastic use & deforestation and to find help for agricultural waste. She also wanted to provide farmers with more income for their agri-waste and find new uses for invasive plants like water hyacinth.
The program will provide the shortlisted innovators with a unique support package to help them accelerate their businesses. The selection benefits include thorough and custom business training, mentoring, media and communications training.
The program will be offered as a digital experience, with intensive support provided through one-on-one and group sessions. Where possible, sessions may also be held in person. Four finalists will be selected and invited to pitch their improved innovation and business plan to the judges and a live audience.
The winner will receive £25,000, and the three runner-ups will receive £10,000 each. In addition, a One-to-Watch award of £5,000 will be given to the most promising innovator that the live audience will select.