Dr Valentin Agon of Benin was selected overall winner of the award ceremony celebrating innovation on the African continent with the special theme this year of Made in Africa.

His anti-malarial drug Api-Palu tackles a disease which in 2015 killed over 400,000 people and about 78% of these were children under five years of age.

Api-Pali, which is made from natural plant extracts, is cheaper than other alternatives, and has hit the market in Benin, Burkina Faso, Tchad, and Central African Republic (CAR).

Healthcare was the big winner of the night – in particular solutions which reduce the need for antibiotics. Dr Imogen Wright won the second prize worth $25,000 for the Exatype software which allows doctors to work out whether patients will be resistant to HIV drug treatment using genotyping data.

Dr Eddy Agbo of Nigeria won the Special Prize for Social Impact for Urine Test for Malaria (UMT) which can do just that in 25 minutes. It means that people are not misdiagnosed with malaria and given the wrong treatment. This in the long run could produce parasites resistant to traditional methods of treating the disease but also ensure that the real cause of patients’ symptoms is more easily identified.

Other nominees included a tractor made from a motorcycle, an online platform which allows you to find tutors and teachers for all disciplines, as well as low-cost fertiliser, scanners for the early detection of great cancer and more.

Jean Claude Bastos de Morais, AIF Founding Board Member, made his intentions clear when it comes to supporting innovation on the continent. ‘Continue to innovate. Believe in Africa. And generate jobs for our youth.’

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