After a total of 94 applications for the AGEA Business Idea Competition 2022 from over 20 African countries, 34 start-up ideas moved to the next stage to complete Innolytics (Innovation Platform). Based on the information provided on the Innolytics Platform, evaluators assessed the start-up business ideas based on the criteria of the competition and selected the Top six (6) start-up ideas.
The Profiles of the Top six (6) start-up business ideas are below:
1. Hybrid Solar Dryer
The team is led by Dr. Muinat Moninuola Bello from the University of Maiduguri in Nigeria. Together with her team, they designed and developed the trapezium-shaped plain glass cover, solar collector, and top drying chamber, which utilizes charcoal as fuel. This machine will be used to dry fish and general agricultural produce to help reduce post-harvest losses in Nigeria and the sub-region.
2. Kuzimba Services
Kuzimba Services is led by Ephrance Eunice Namugenyi with a 7-member team from Makerere University, Uganda. Based on their research, they are establishing a business that provides affordable building materials and access to saving schemes to communities throughout Uganda. They provide quality housing and faster access to cost-effective building materials and construction services. They are the future of Innovative, Sustainable, and Modern Building in Uganda.
3. WAH Insecticide – processing of plant extracts as insecticides against mosquitoes and Fall Armyworms
Assifuah Hasford Kojo Ainoo from University for Development Studies, Nyankpala Campus in Ghana, and his team members sought to formulate biodegradable fumigants from plant materials as insecticides against mosquitoes and fall armyworms (Spodoptera frugiperda). This is a great intervention for Ghana and all tropical nations that are mosquito-prone regions. This is a two-way innovation to make tremendous transformations in the Agriculture and Health Sectors of economies.
4. Bactericide against Bacterial Wilt disease in Potato
Through extensive laboratory and academic research, Dr. George Oluoch from the Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology, and Innovation in Kenya has extracted an active compound of thyme essential oil called thymol. From this active compound, a bactericide has been developed and proven effective against bacterial wilt in Potatoes to bring a positive change in the Agricultural Sector in Kenya.
5. Soilless Gardening
Margaret Ssentambi Gumisiriza, a Ugandan doctoral student at the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology in Tanzania, has developed a low-cost hydroponic unit for urban and semi-urban gardening in Uganda and East Africa. Urban farmers can take on the affordable soilless gardens to produce vegetables. This will enhance food security, serve as a source of income generation, and promote sustainability in cities.
Bassaw Barry, the team leader for RapiDry from the University of Mines and Technology in Ghana, has developed an effective and affordable multipurpose grain dryer that serves as a grain drying service for farmers. The RapiDry is a mechanical batch drying machine that can dry 500 kg of maize in 3 hours. The machine will reduce post-harvest losses, increase crop yield, and increase farm profitability.