Ugandan engineer wins Africa’s largest engineering innovation award

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Ugandan software engineer Anatoli Kirigwajjo has won the overall winner of this year’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Kirigwajjo, developed Yunga, a local digital security network that connects neighbours to each other and to police within a 20km radius through a physical device, smartphone app, or SMS service, providing security at low cost.

This innovation won him the overall award during a ceremony held in Accra, Ghana.

Kirigwajjo said he was excited about having won the continental prize which he said will reinvigorate his innovation efforts.

“This recognition highlights our commitment to delivering exceptional technology tools for communities to thrive economically while staying safe,” the Ugandan engineer said.

“We extend our gratitude to the Royal Academy of Engineering for their recognition and tailored workshops and mentorship that have enhanced our operations, resulting in a 60% increase in sales and improved investment readiness. We also express our appreciation to our customers (1000+) across 34 communities in Uganda and promise to continue providing exceptional technology tools for their safety.”

He said the prestigious continental award will facilitate his expansion and connecting of an additional 3,000 households to the Yunga Network, with a focus on vulnerable women-led households.

“ This expansion aims to create a safer environment, foster economic growth, and empower these communities. This recognition validates our efforts and motivates us to continue developing cutting-edge solutions for underserved communities,” Kirigwajjo said.

Kirigwajjo shared the award with South African biomedical engineer, Edmund Wessels for his FlexiGyn project, a handheld device from South Africa designed for diagnosing and treating uterine problems at a low cost.

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