Kenyan Female Engineer Wins Ksh 3.6 Million in UK With Unique Innovation

  • Co-founder and chief executive of sustainable solutions company Drop Access, Norah Magero.
    Co-founder and chief executive of sustainable solutions company Drop Access, Norah Magero.
    standard.co.uk
  • Norah Magero has made history in the United Kingdom after she became the first Kenyan and only the second woman to win the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize. 

    In a virtual ceremony, Africa Prize Judge Alessandra Buonfino noted that Magero's innovation, VacciBox, showed the potential possessed by the continent for innovation in the medical industry. 

    As a result, Magero won Ksh3.6 million (£25,000) which will go towards helping the invention reach more people in Africa.  

    A local transporting VacciBox, Norah Marego's invention.
    A local transporting VacciBox, Norah Marego's invention.

    VacciBox is a small, mobile, solar-powered fridge that safely stores and transports medicines such as vaccines, in order to be used in field vaccinations as well as remote clinics. 

    "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,” Buonfino stated. 

    Honoured by the distinction, Magero noted that the invention was aimed at aiding medics working in poverty-stricken areas. 

    "VacciBox was designed with our local challenges in mind. It’s versatile, reliable and localized. 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,” she stated. 

    The award, which began in 2014, is the continent's biggest prize in the engineering field that seeks to recognise the inventions by men and women in the industry. 

    Magero has vast experience in the design and management of off-grid energy utilities. According to her LinkedIn profile, she is passionate about energy access in Africa and gender issues. 

    She has received other honours including a Booking.Com Technology Playmaker Award 2020 finalist and Women in Energy East Africa Community, Philanthropy Award winner 2017. She is also an alumnus of the Young African Leaders Initiative, YALI and the Micro-Grid Academy.

    A medicine vial labelled coronavirus vaccine.
    A medicine vial labelled coronavirus vaccine.
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