Malawian technology expert and computer scientist, Rachel Sibande has done the country proud by scoping a $25,000 award (approximately K18,375,000) in a pan African competition for scientific innovations and inventions at the just ended Next Einstein Forum in Kigali, Rwanda.
Sibande who is the brain behind Malawi’s first innovation hub and incubator for emerging entrepreneurs, Mhub Company, emerged winner in the Climate Smart Innovation Track category.
She presented her technology prototype on use of maize cobs to produce combustible gas which ultimately generates electricity. This could solve some of Malawi’s energy challenges.
In her victory speech, Sibande said; “This is for the daughters of the continent. May they thrive in science to innovate and invent more home grown solutions.”
This is not the first time Sibande has brought home prestigious awards; she is a Google Awardee, she has been listed by Forbes, she was awarded at the World Youth Forum and recognized by the Commonwealth Polytechnic of African Universities, among others.
The Next Einstein Forum is the largest gathering of African scientists bringing together over 1600 scientists and academics from Africa in different research areas. The Global Gathering was graced by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and President Mak Sally of Senegal.
The NEF received 133 scientific applications from African scientists mostly pursuing PhDs in science fields such as Climate Smart Technologies, Deep Technology and Personalized Health Technology.
The top 16 applicants were selected and pitched their innovations in three categories to judges for three to four minutes each on two occasions focusing on the technology, impact and scalability. The final two in each category then presented in plenary live at the closing ceremony of the NEF Global Gathering 2018 which was graced by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and President Mak Sally.
The Next Einstein Forum will happen again in 2020 in Nairobi Kenya. The innagural forum was held in Dakar in 2016.
In her words: Sibande’s education background
I attended Carewell Primary School in Lilongwe. In 1997 and I went to Our Lady of Wisdom Secondary School in Blantyre. I read for a Bachelor’s degree in Science at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College (Chanco) for the love, passion and curiosity that I had and still have for computers and mathematics. In 2005, I graduated from Chanco majoring in Computer Science and Statistics. In 2009, I attained a Master’s degree in Coding Theory and Cryptography with a distinction from Mzuzu University. I am currently reading for a PhD in Computer Science from Rhodes University in South AfricaFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :