Innov & Tech


Master’s Students Make A Solar Powered Home for Africans

A portable, energy-efficient home that was originally built for a competition may be available on the market soon in Africa. The design was created by team Jua Jamii, a group of 40 former university students from countries including Tanzania, Nigeria and Swaziland.  It uses recycled shipping containers and is 100% powered by solar energy. When Jua Jamii started building the house, the plan was simple -- to create affordable and energy-efficient housing for middle-income families in Africa. The team expanded from six members to 40 in 2018 to make room for the implementation of all ideas. By gathering shipping materials from a port in Morocco, they were able to lay the foundation for the building. Jua Jamii also focused on equipping the house with a 24-hour power supply.


IN BRIEF: Chinwe Ohajuruka

Chinwe is a real inspiration in the field of green building solutions in Africa. She engineers and builds affordable greenhouses that are both energy and resource-efficient. Her 3 degrees in architecture and 3 accreditations in green building, led to the creation of Comprehensive Design Services, a company that provides comprehensive solutions to complex problems. Back in 2011, she took leave from her job in the USA to voluntarily assist with the establishment of the Green Council in Nigeria. This position required significant research on social, environmental and financial aspects of the Nigerian economy. It was then that she became aware of the housing deficit in the country, as well as the extent of the power, water and sanitation crisis. With a growing population of around 175 million inhabitants, Nigeria faces a massive housing, energy and water crisis. Most of the population lives in poor conditions and does not have access to electricity or sanitation. There is a housing deficit of 17 million units and only 40% of the population has access to power. Houses usually lack basic equipment such as toilets or running water. Chinwe’s company, Comprehensive Design Services, aims to find sustainable solutions to this problem by creating affordable,...


VW Electric Car Hits The Road In Rwanda

Volkswagen is importing a batch of electric powered Golf models into Rwanda for a local ride-hailing service, establishing a bridgehead in the country that it hopes to expand to other nations as it seeks to increase market share globally. Importing the vehicles into Rwanda, which sells itself to foreign investors on its reliable infrastructure, stability and relative ease of doing business, and where VW already assembles cars, is initially intended to test infrastructure and performance in the region’s climate.  Rwanda’s Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente said he hoped electric car use could expand, noting fuel products were Rwanda’s biggest import last year. VW acknowledged the high price of electric cars would not appeal to most African consumers, but said scaling up production and favourable government policy could help bring prices down.



Carrying a laptop in Nigeria can lead to accusations of being an internet scammer. Nigeria’s tech industry is rising up against what its leaders say is a campaign of police harassment and extortion of tech workers after the alleged arrest of a software developer went viral. The #StopRobbingUs campaign launched last week after Akinmolayan Oluwatoni, a developer at Buffer Media in Lagos, tweeted that members of the city’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad had stopped him while he was carrying a laptop and iPhone and taken him to a police station where they demanded 1 million Naira ($2,759) for his release. “Next thing was slaps and punch, here and there. All I could hear was, ‘Confess, you’re internet fraudster or not?’ I kept saying I’m not a fraudster, I’m a developer for a company and all,” Oluwatoni wrote. He said he had paid 15,000 Naira to be released. Lagos’ tight-knit tech community quickly responded, with scores of other developers posting similar stories about being accused by police of being “Yahoo boys,” a nickname for internet scammers. A Nigerian police spokesman declined to comment, but the force’s complaints department said on Twitter that an investigation had begun. Local media reported that four officers...



Dr. Oyesiku is Co-Director of the Emory Pituitary and Neuroendocrine Center, which provides patients with comprehensive and personalized management of pituitary disorders. Professor and Vice-Chairman, Neurological Surgery and Professor, Medicine (Endocrinology), Emory University School of Medicine Director, Neurosurgical Residency Program and Al Lerner Chair, Neurosurgery, Emory University School of Medicine Director, Laboratory of Molecular Neurosurgery and Biotechnology, Emory University School of Medicine Biography A board-certified neurosurgeon, Nelson M. Oyesiku MD, Ph.D., FACS, has performed over 1,700 pituitary tumor surgeries and is an international leader among neurosurgeons. He is a pioneer in the use of 3D endoscopy in pituitary surgery. His clinical focus is the surgical treatment and molecular biology of pituitary tumors, and he is Principal Investigator of the R25 National Institutes of Health (NIH) training grant for neurosurgery. Dr. Oyesiku has served on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Neurological Surgery, as Chairman of the Maintenance of Certification Committee, as Chairman of the American Board of Neurological Surgery, on the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons, and on the Advisory Council for Neurosurgery of the American College of Surgeons. He also serves as a member of the Residency Review Committee of Neurosurgery of...


IN BRIEF: Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson, née Katherine Coleman, also known as (1939–56) Katherine Goble, (born August 26, 1918, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, U.S.), American mathematician who calculated and analyzed the flight paths of many spacecraft during her more than three decades with the U.S. space program. Her work helped send astronauts to the Moon. Coleman’s intelligence and skill with numbers became apparent when she was a child, and, by the time she was 10 years old, she had started attending high school. In 1937, at age 18, Coleman graduated with highest honours from West Virginia State College (now West Virginia State University), earning bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and French. She subsequently moved to Virginia to take a teaching job. In 1939, however, she was selected to be one of the first three African American students to enroll in a graduate program at West Virginia University. She studied math there but soon left after marrying James Goble and deciding to start a family. He died in 1956, and three years later she married James Johnson. In 1953 she began working at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA)’s West Area Computing unit, a group of African American women who manually performed complex mathematical...



“I drove the cab during the day, and I prepared for my exams at night. I did not have money to buy books, but I used the library. I remember a time I had to eat only bread for 3 days. I learnt very early in life that a goal without a plan is only a wish and that there is no testimony without a test. The only time that success comes before work is in the dictionary. I also learnt from my dad the value of hard work, as well as, perseverance and not letting the moments define you but defining the moment by embracing the challenge.”  “While I was in training at Emory University School of Medicine as a kidney specialist… I quickly found out that the commonest cause of death for the patients that died was heart disease and not kidney diseases. And we were doing a great job taking care of these patients but ultimately they died from a disease I didn’t have much control of as I would have loved to.”  “That was a challenge I had to embrace being someone, whose decision to be a physician was to make a difference. I realized it...


South Africa enters Electric Automobile Era

Nissan Motor Co., BMW AG and Volkswagen AG are among carmakers in talks to bring the electric-car revolution to South Africa, as the nation’s auto-factory floors risk being left behind in the global switch to greener vehicles. The industry is preparing a unified stance on electrification to present to the government by the end of the year, according to Mike Mabasa, chief executive officer of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa. Among the goals is persuading lawmakers to reduce or drop a 23% import tariff on electric vehicles to help ramp up nascent domestic sales, he said. Another is to roll out charging infrastructure in a country where the state-owned power monopoly is in deep financial crisis. To date, there are no firm plans for electric-car or hybrid production in South Africa, but the government and industry agreed in 2018 to extend a manufacturing incentive program, creating jobs and enabling models like the BMW X3 sport utility vehicle and Nissan's Novara pickup to be produced locally.


APPLAUSE: Nigerian Wins World Championship – 2019 in Physics (EINSTEIN’S PLANETARY EQUATION).

Dr. Yakubu Nura of the University of Maiduguri Nigeria wins World Physics Competition, According to a state released by IASR congratulating Dr Nura, IASR acknowledged Dr. Yakubu Nura contribution to scientific research in the world. The statement reads: World Championship-2019 in Physics (EINSTEIN’S PLANETARY EQUATION) acknowledges the outstanding international contributions and is selected based on international meritorious competition. Dr Yakubu Nura's research article was judged winner among 5721 nominations from 97 countries, screened for the World Championship-2019 in Physics (EINSTEIN’S PLANETARY EQUATION). World Champion Dr. Yakubu Nura is now recognized as Father of modern EINSTEIN’S PLANETARY EQUATION studies in Physics. The purpose of the award is to identify brilliant scientists and academicians around the world through World Championship. The World Championship is organized by International Agency for Standards and Ratings at international level Dr. Yakubu Nura, (World Champion and Fellow, Directorate of Physics, IASR) plays a vital role in advancement of scientific knowledge in Physics (EINSTEIN’S PLANETARY EQUATION). IASR recognizes Dr. Yakubu Nura among World's 500 Most Influential Experts in Physics for the Year 2019 on Earth.

A Pioneering Businessman who Drove Kenya’s Mobile Money Revolution

Bob Collymore, the head of east Africa’s biggest telecoms company, Safaricom, and a pioneer of mobile money, said the ultimate purpose of his business was “transforming lives”. In doing so, he helped inspire a generation of corporate leaders to think bigger. The British chief executive, who has died aged 61 after a long battle with cancer, led Kenya’s largest mobile operator through a period of rapid growth, turning Safaricom into east Africa’s most profitable business. Under his leadership since 2010, the company’s revolutionary mobile money service, M-Pesa, evolved from a fledgling peer to peer transfer system to become the backbone of the country’s digital economy, used by two in every five Kenyans. The desire to engage with everyone from Kenya’s President to the poorest motorbike taxi driver was key to Collymore’s understanding of the potential of digital services, says longtime friend, Aly-Khan Satchu, a Nairobi-based investment adviser. Not everything succeeded. The company’s hyped e-commerce platform Masoko, for example, failed to meet expectations. But Collymore was willing to fail in his pursuit of success. An avid reader, saxophone player, jazz enthusiast and a collector of African art, Collymore was a vocal champion of the fight against corruption in Kenya, a member...