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Egyptian scientist wins the Innovation Prize for Africa

Egypt’s Aly al-Shafei, professor of Mechanical Engineering at Cairo University, announced the winner of the grand prize for The African Innovation Foundation (AIF)’s 2017 Innovation for Africa.

The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) awarded three African innovators for their incredible innovations. Out of a total of over 2500 applications, 10 nominees were selected.

Shafei of Egypt emerged as the Grand Prize winner, with Philippa Ngaju Makobore of Uganda landing the Second Prize, and Dougbeh-Chris Nyan of Liberia winning the Special Prize for Social Impact. Shafei walked away with of $100,000 for his world-class innovation.

The AIF said in a statement that Shafei’s innovation, Smart Electro-Mechanical Actuator Journal Integrated Bearing (SEMAJIB), is a world-class solution that supports energy generating turbines and can be used to improve efficiency and reduce costs of generating energy in Africa.

The organization explained that the main obstacle for increasing electricity generation capacity in Africa continues to be the high cost of electricity production, which is forcing governments to subsidize consumption. Shafei’s innovation addresses these difficulties.

The patented innovation (SEMAJIB), significantly improves turbine performance in single line combined cycle plants as well as conventional generator technology.

Patented in the US since 2010, with another patent pending, the device is designed to support energy generating turbines more efficiently and cost effectively in Africa.

SEMAJIB is an innovation that does not currently exist in the West, and already Siemens’ has indicated interest in the device.

A world class innovation originating from Africa, SEMAJIB reverses Africa’s image as a technology consumer to technology producer. Production of this technology in Africa will also generate jobs and increase revenue.

Edited Translation From Al-Masry Al-Youm

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