The list of winners of the 2018 edition of EDF Pulse Africa was announced on November 23, 2018 by a press release from Électricité de France (EDF). Among the young Africans rewarded for their projects, three of them have innovated in the energy sector.
The gold medal went to Emmastella Wangui Gakuo, owner of Savanna Circuit Tech. The young Kenyan has set up Maziwa Plus, a mobile milk cooling system that uses solar energy. Thanks to his innovation, it is now possible to reduce milk losses and combat food insecurity caused by the presence of bacteria. The system is powered by solar energy, with 1000 watts and uses a 1 hp compressor to cool 100 litres of milk in 27 minutes at 4 degrees Celsius. This prevents the rapid growth of bacteria that cause milk to deteriorate. Savanna Circuit Tech offers farmers and dairies, a mobile application that allows them to work more efficiently.
The second prize went to a woman. Nicole Pointdexter was honoured for her company Black Star Energy Ltd. It designs and markets off-grid solar kits. The Ghanaian woman already operates 15 mini-grids and wants to connect at least 12,000 Ghanaians to electricity before the end of 2018. These mini-grids allow customers to know their energy consumption and, above all, to pay their bills via their mobile phone.
Nigeria was ranked first in the EDF Pulse Africa Prize ranking. Solarcreed, which provides Nigerian poultry farmers with lighting solutions that use solar energy, was rewarded. It offers kits made up of solar panels, long-lasting lithium-ion batteries and LED lamps. This device provides 10 hours of lighting per day. Co-founded by Damola Alayande and Saheed Okuboyejo, Solarcreed made it possible for farmers to do without fossil fuels, which represented about 30% of a farm’s operating costs.
The winners have received prizes ranging from €5,000 to €15,000 and will be supported by EDF. The 2018 edition of EDF Pulse Africa put 432 projects from 24 African countries in competition, four times more than in 2017 when only 103 start-ups had competed.
EDF Pulse Africa also awarded the Rwandan company “Water Access Rwanda” and the Cameroonian start-up “Save our agriculture” for the projects they carry out in the “Access to Water” category.