Ghana’s Charlette N’Guessan, CEO and co-founder of BACE Group, has emerged winner of the 2020 Royal Academy of Engineering £25,000 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. She becomes the first woman and first innovator from Ghana, to win the award.
Three other innovators – Aisha Raheem of Nigeria’s Farmz2u, Uganda’s William Wasswa of PapsAI and David Tusubira of Remot were among the four finalists.
Charlette fended off strong competition from the other three (3) Africa Prize finalists to win the £25,000 prize.
The 2020 Africa Prize final’s live event took place virtually and featured each innovator pitching their innovations before a panel of judges.
Winner Takes All
Charlette N’Guessan of Ghana’s BACE clinched the sole £25,000 prize awarded at the 2020 edition of the Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.
Charlette is a tech entrepreneur from Ghana. She created BACE, an AI-powered identity verification channel which uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and cutting edge facial recognition technology to enable financial institutions accurately verify customers’ identity and prevent online impersonation, identity theft and other cybercrimes.
During her winning pitch, Charlette said, “In 2017, cybercrime cost African businesses $3.5 billion” – a huge opportunity for a company that can verify identities securely using an efficient facial recognition process.
Her AI startup has worked with some financial institutions with very strict Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements.
The Other Three African Innovators
Although there was no prize money awarded to the other three finalists, the Africa Prize event presented a platform for them to share their innovative ideas with industry Professionals and other attendees at the event.
Aisha Raheem is a data expert from Nigeria and the owner of digital farming platform Farmz2U. Farmz2U is a software which links rural farmers to urban consumers to reduce food wastage, improve nutrition and reduce food importation in the country.
Uganda’s David Tusubira is an electrical engineer who invented Remot, a pay-as-you-go system for solar electricity users to conveniently pay for power. His compatriot, William Wasswa is a biomedical engineer who founded PapsAI, a low-cost digital microscope slide scanner which diagnoses cervical cancer in women living in areas with limited financial resources.
Congratulations to Charlette N’Guessan of Ghana’s BACE on winning the £25,000 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 2020.