Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

Winner 2022

Norah Magero:

Vaccibox

Norah Magero has won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s 2022 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation with Vaccibox, a small, mobile, solar-powered fridge that safely stores and transports medicines like vaccines, for use in field vaccinations and remote clinics. Magero is the first Kenyan to win the award in its eight-year history, and the second woman. 

Infrastructure and human resource challenges across Kenya continue to hamper vaccine distribution, with 3 in 10 children not adequately vaccinated. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the cold-chain challenges faced by healthcare practitioners and supply chains in distributing temperature-sensitive medicine were highlighted globally, and remain a problem for many types of vaccines. 

The 40 litre VacciBox is portable and lightweight. It can be wheeled or mounted on a bicycle, motorbike or boat, and has a telescopic handle for easy mobility. A built-in thermostat and digital thermometer maintain temperatures required for cold-chain medicines, a battery supply as well as mains and solar panel connectivity and a charge controller, ensure power stability. It can transport blood and tissue and can be monitored remotely to ensure reliability. 

Magero wins the first prize of £25,000 (3,667,000 KES). At the virtual awards ceremony held on 15 June 2022, four finalists delivered presentations, after which Africa Prize judges and a live audience voted for the most promising engineering innovation. 

The Africa Prize final event recording will be available here soon

“I’ve grown immensely and met such brilliant engineers and non-engineers doing amazing things through the Africa Prize. This award will help us continue to develop Vaccibox to help get life saving vaccines to many more people.”
Norah Magero

"We're delighted to award VacciBox the Africa Prize. The potential impact of improving the cold chain delivery of medicine – especially vaccines – to rural areas is immense. Norah truly represents the idea that one innovator can change an entire community. We look forward to watching her and her team scale this innovation to reach even more people.”

Alessandra Buonfino, Africa Prize judge

“VacciBox was designed with our local challenges in mind. It’s versatile, reliable and localised. We’re ensuring that it works the way healthcare workers need it to work for the conditions they face each day, so that they can save lives without worrying about technology.”

Norah Magero

Connect with Norah Magero

Applying to the Africa Prize

If you are interested in applying to the Africa Prize, full details on applications are now available for the next cycle. More information can be found on our website.