Cristovão Cacombe was chosen for his innovation, called 'Arobot'. Its technology, as explained in a note sent to VerAngola, concerns "a robotic learning tool for children that must be assembled and programmed to perform specific tasks".
'Arobot' was created to combat the lack of robotics labs in national schools. Thus, according to the statement, the Angolan and his team intended to provide practical STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education, helping students to develop skills in electronic engineering, programming and software development.
Resembling a 'kupapata' (three-wheel motorcycle), this technology has two motors that are connected to a microcontroller that communicates via Bluetooth with a platform, enabling its users to create and program interactive electronic objects.
The note also mentions that the Angolan engineer "has already supplied more than 200 'Arobots' to more than 20 schools, reaching more than 1000 people, including dozens of teachers who have been trained to educate their students".
"Arobot provides practical application of the theory that children are already learning. Our robot has an African identity, taking the form of a vehicle that all children in Angola can recognise. They are accessing valuable laboratory experience while while having fun", he said, quoted in the note.
Regarding the award, the Angolan is one of the 15 African entrepreneurs chosen: "15 African entrepreneurs and their pioneering technologies aimed at environmental rehabilitation, education and human health and safety were selected for the Africa 2023 Award for Innovation in Engineering, founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering".
The 2023 list, the statement said, "represents 10 African countries, including, for the first time, Angola and Sierra Leone, and demonstrates the importance of engineering as an enabler of improving the quality of life and economic development".
Alongside the Angolan, entrepreneurs from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe appear on the list.
According to the statement, this award, which was launched in 2014, is presented annually by the Royal Academy of Engineering "to ambitious African innovators who create local and scalable solutions to pan-African and international challenges".
Thus, shortlisted innovators will benefit from a support package, which encompasses "business incubation, mentoring, fundraising and communications" as well as "access to the Academy's global network of highly qualified engineers and business experts and experienced in the UK and Africa".
According to the statement, in the middle of next year, four finalists will be chosen to present their innovations and "business plans to the award jury", at an event taking place in Ghana, with the winner receiving £25,000 while the second, third and fourth places will receive £10,000 each. There will also be another prize for "Best Innovator", in the amount of £5000 to be given to the "Most Promising Innovator".
"The shortlisted innovations in 2023 address challenges central to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, including quality education, clean water and sanitation, sustainable cities and communities, good health and well-being and clean energy."
Cited in the statement, Rebecca Enonchong FREng, founder and executive director of AppsTech and member of the Africa Prize jury, said that climate change has severely impacted the African continent, with 11 innovations this year contributing to environmental sustainability.
"Climate change is having a more severe impact on Africa than on other continents, where agricultural production, food security and water resources are being compromised and exacerbated by poor adaptive capacity. This year, 11 of our innovations are to contribute directly to environmental sustainability", she said.
You can find out more about the award on its website.