Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 2023 winners:
Anatoli Kirigwajjo, YUNGA and
Edmund Wessels, FlexiGyn
For the first time, two innovators win the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, for technologies in affordable security and women's health.
Electrical engineer Anatoli Kirigwajjo wins with community ‘panic button’ inspired by traditional African warning drums and biomedical engineer Edmund Wessels selected for increasing access to reproductive healthcare for women in remote areas, with portable device for gynaecology.
Kirigwajjo wins with YUNGA, a local digital security network that connects neighbours to each other and police within a 20 kilometre radius through a physical device, smartphone app or SMS service, providing security at low cost.
Nearly 1,000 households in 30 communities across central Uganda are already on the YUNGA network, which has successfully prevented around 130 break-ins and related crimes. The team is aiming to connect 32,000 households across Uganda in the next two years.
Wessels wins with FlexiGyn, a battery-powered, portable handheld device that enables gynaecologists to diagnose and treat women’s uterine problems without anaesthetic or expensive equipment. It aims to increase women’s access to reproductive healthcare, particularly in remote areas.
Typical hysteroscopy systems are rigid, leading to high levels of patient discomfort, requiring bulky additional equipment for visualisation. The innovative FlexiGyn features a flexible scope with built-in light and camera, offering a more comfortable and efficient experience for both patients and healthcare providers.