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A Biowaste Equipment Innovation for Smallholder Farmers in West Africa

Chemical Engineer Noël N’guessan has won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s 2021 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation with a biowaste equipment innovation for smallholder farmers in West Africa to efficiently manage and generate income from biowaste. N’guessan is the second Ivorian to win the Africa Prize, and the first to win with an Ivorian-based innovation. N’guessan and his team designed and patented Kubeko to assist smallholder farmers and their cooperatives to generate more income from the by-products of their harvests, without additional labour. Kubeko is a set of low-cost biowaste processing equipment; its composter and biodigester are both specifically designed to ferment agricultural post-harvest by-products into solid and liquid compost, and cooking gas. N’guessan wins the first prize of £25,000. At the virtual awards ceremony held on Thursday, 8 July 2021, four finalists delivered presentations before Africa Prize judges, and a live audience voted for the most promising engineering innovation. “We really appreciated the professionalism of the APEI, adding value to our businesses. It was hard work, and I share this award with our entire team,” said N’guessan.