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Royal Academy of Engineering (File photo) / Civil engineer Aline Okello has designed mobile technology software to address the need for rainwater harvesting, and to share water management knowledge in Mozambique and the rest of Africa. She has been shortlisted for the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize 2017.
A Mozambican hydrology PhD student, Aline Okello, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Africa Prize awarded by the London-based Royal Academy of Engineering. The Africa Prize recognises and rewards innovative African engineers, and raises the profile of engineering in Africa.
Okello has designed an application to help users set up rainwater harvesting systems tailored to their area and rainfall patterns. Through the cell phone app, anyone can calculate how much water they could harvest and which kind of equipment to use based on what type of roof they have on their home, their geographical location and the available tank types in their area.
Users are linked directly to suppliers in their area and given access to highly accurate rain forecasts. Okello’s app will enable users to buy the best rainwater harvesting system for their homes directly from the app, and request delivery. Suppliers can advertise on the app, and research institutions can use the software to access accurate rain forecasts.
The ultimate goal is to run the app in countries across Africa, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region.
Okello is one of 16 candidates shortlisted for the prize. Each will now receive an intensive six months of training and mentorship in business and entrepreneurial skills before the winner is selected. The first prize is 25,000 pounds sterling in cash.
The chair of the judging panel, Malcolm Brinded, commented “over the years we’ve seen the Africa Prize alumni go on to develop commercially successful and socially disruptive businesses. These are the engineers who will shape Africa, solve development challenges for local communities, and inspire more innovation”.
He added, “the strength of the Prize lies in the success of its incredible alumni, who inspire more engineers to become entrepreneurs and empower themselves to make advances in their communities and cities”.Source: AIM