University of Malawi ‘Padoko’ charger creator gets global tech award in Budapest

Malawi’s young innovator in ICT based Innovations, Mixon Faluweki has won an Excellence Award at the ITU Telecom World 2015 in Budapest with his Padoko Charger Creation.

Padoko charger creator (L) with James Kaphale in Budapest

Padoko charger creator (L) with James Kaphale in Budapest

Faluweki realised that although only 11% of rural households in his country are connected to the electricity grid, 47% own a bicycle. So he came up with a device that can charge a cell phone using just pedal power.

His invention “the Padoko” got him to the finals of a prestigious global tech innovation prize.

Faluweki developed the phone charger last year in his third year Electronics class and he has just completed his first degree in Education Science, majoring in Physics at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College.

He received the award on Thursday 15th Octobe at a ceremony chaired by ITU’s Secretary General, Houlin Zhao.

Padoko Charger               

Padoko Charger is a bicycle powered phone charger that allows people using bicycle to charge their mobile phones as they ride.

It is probably the cheapest means of charging mobile phones to people who do not have access to home electricity in Malawi and other African Countries where electricity connection rate is still very low.

Mixon Faluweki of Padoko bicyce driven cell phone charger

Mixon Faluweki of Padoko bicyce driven cell phone charger

In Malawi, only about 11 percent of the households are connected to electricity and the whole sub-Saharan Africa electricity connection rate stands at less than 11 percent.

Padoko Charger could benefit approximately over three million people in Malawi who spend money every time they charge their mobile phone and many others indirectly. It has also the potential to generate forex for the country through exports.

Currently mass production is what is remaining to take the charger to the market. Mixon has managed to accumulate raw materials for about 500 chargers but he says that this number is very small compared to the market as such funding as well as protecting the product will do Malawi the best.

Awards and Recognition

The Padoko Charger innovator won the first international award in 2014 at aGlobal Innovations Through Science and Technology (GIST TECH-I) competition finals organised by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and funded by the American department of state. He was voted number one in the world competition which was held in Morocco last year.

Locally, the University of Malawi honoured Mixon as the Outstanding student innovator during [email protected] Celebrations held at Kamuzu stadium on Saturday, 10th October, 2015.

He has also been invited to make presentations at various universities in Cameroon in November 2015 as a way of promoting innovations among African students in universities.

Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) sponsored three ICT innovators to showcase their talents at this global event.

The other innovators are Elijah Phiri of Auction Holdings Limited (AHL) who developed a warehouse management system and Samson Fiado, a fourth year student at Polytechnic who developed an accounting software called Easy books.

Macra’s legal affairs director James Kaphale said from Budapet that the regulators support to the innovators is in line with its mandate of promoting research in ICT.

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Mpha Woyamba

penapake lets appreciate others’ hardwork…enanu mukut its old technology ngat mulinayo modern one buanj,.kuzolowela kuyamikila azungu basi,ndi nzeru zanu zochulukazo osathandiza kupanga polish de idea en upgrade it kut ilinganizane ndi modern technology buanj instead ov makin it seem lyk de guy has done totally nothin…as 4 me,de dude has done a thing worth appreciatin zamunyasa nd mfiti


that’s what university students or graduates aught to do.congratulations to u for making us proud.Enawa amangozitama kuti ndi ophunzira koma palibe chamzeru chomwe anapangapo.

Blessings Pitiry-Deliwe
Blessings Pitiry-Deliwe
Bravo!!!! This is the way to go brother. Uwu nde timati ukamuna…..However it is qt unfortunate that our IP laws in Malawi are too archaic and we do not have a provision on Utility Model or Small Patents. We solely depend on Patents. However, this invention is best suited in UM and can also be protected under the Industrial Design Act especially the shape. Furtherance you can protect your Trademark under our Trademark Act. Gone are the days IP used to be considered as a Developed Countries asset. Do you know that Americas, China, Japan etc Economy depends on IP.… Read more »

Atumbuka msanje yokha yokha. Wakusambila waka!!!!!!!

I said it before in my comment no. 12 and if you read comment no. 45 you will agree with me that this is an old technology and similar more refined products are already there on the market including eBay and Amazon. This product cannot be patented in Malawi as it is not original and re-inventing the wheel is a waste of time and money. Please be sincere and advise the guy to do a thorough research first next time rather than cheating him with hollow congratulatory messages. You can pretend and argue that “this product will be built in… Read more »

Amene mukunyozanu chanzeru munapangapo ndi chani? This is an international award, which only shows that the guy has done a wonderful job. This is just his first innovation and we hope that he will come up with another innovation. Big up Mixon

M'Malawi Weniweni

A Malawi chitani chilungamo. The Bicycle charger for phone is a very old technology, not a new innovation. As early as 2011, I saw the YouTube video of this at

Similarly, in 2013 there was a You tube post at

Both of these were posted before our Malawian innovator.

Next time people claim to innovate, chech the details.


Congrats Brother for the innovation….my plea to government, please don’t let this good idea be stolen by foreign countries, the likes of China and Cameroon, instead let the appropriate government Ministry support this innovation and produce a lot, and export, we will be talking about a very good inflow of forex, believe me. Congrats again Mr. Faluweki.


This guy needs support. From now onwards he should concentrate on mass production and stop making presentations on how it works, some clever guys will steal the technology and make business out of it. Banks and the export fund need to work up and support this guy. This is our source of employment and forex earning. Bravo Malawian Boy

Chris Chimzimu

The [email protected] was held at College of Medicine not Kamuzu Stadium


Congratulations! this is newsworthy and encouraging to our students. Patent it so you and Malawi can enjoy the benefits of your innovation. God bless you

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