Africa

The first woman to win African engineering prize

An Ivorian entrepreneur specializing in the field of technology, Charlette N’Guessan, this year won the prize of the Royal Academy of Engineering of Africa for innovation in engineering.

She is the very first woman to win the Africa Prize and the first winner of Ivorian origin. Charlette N’Guessan has been living and working in Ghana for several years with a team of collaborators.

The invention of the 26-year-old and her team, Bace API, uses facial recognition and artificial intelligence to verify identities remotely, the academy said.

It uses live images or short videos taken by phone cameras to detect whether the image is of a real person or a photo of an existing image.

It is aimed at institutions that rely on identity verification. Two financial institutions are already using the software to verify the identity of their customers, the academy said.

Ms. N’Guessan won $33,000 for the first prize. The winner was chosen by a live audience at a virtual awards ceremony held on Thursday, where four finalists made presentations.

Three finalists received $13,000.

They are Aisha Raheem of Nigeria – whose digital platform provides farmers with data to improve their efficiency, Dr. William Wasswa of Uganda – whose low-cost digital microscope speeds cervical cancer screening, and David Tusubira of Uganda – who has designed a system that manages off-grid power grids by monitoring the condition of solar panels.

“Fifteen entrepreneurs shortlisted for the Africa Prize, from six sub-Saharan African countries, received eight months of training and mentoring, during which they developed their business plans and learned how to commercialize their innovations,” the academy said in a statement.

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