Dr Valentin Agon is from Benin and specialises in alternative medicine; he has received a doctorate for his research in this field. Valentin has been the recipient of several awards - both for his work on alternative medicine and promoting innovation
and entrepreneurship in Africa.
Valentin developed Api-Palu, an anti-malaria drug treatment made from natural plant extract. It is significantly cheaper than available anti-malarial drugs, and has great inhibitory effects on 3D7 strains of plasmodium falciparum the causative agent
of malaria. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 88% of malaria cases and 90% of malaria deaths reported globally (WHO: 2015) with some African governments spending up to 40% of their public health budgets on malaria treatment. Api-Palu manifests as a fast
rate of malaria parasite clearance from the blood following short term treatment, with relatively lower doses. It is available in tablets, capsules or syrup. The drug has been approved in Benin, Burkina Faso, Tchad, and Central Africa Republic because
of its therapeutic and non-toxic effects.
Highest Social Impact
Urine Test for Malaria (UMT)
Dr Eddy Agbo is a molecular bio-technologist from Nigeria, and Chairman/CEO of Fyodor Biotechnologies, promoters of UMT. Eddy has a PhD in Molecular Genetics from Utrecht University in Netherlands and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from University
of Ibadan, Nigeria. Prior to founding Fyodor, he held a senior research position at John Hopkins University, USA.
Urine Test for Malaria (UMT) was developed by Eddy. It is a rapid non-blood diagnostic medical device that can diagnose malaria in less than 25 minutes. Africa has the highest number of malaria cases worldwide; more often than not, when fever is
detected, anti-malaria medication is administered. However, the inability to quickly diagnose and commence malaria treatment can lead to various complications including kidney failure, build-up of lung fluid, aplastic anaemia and even death. UMT
uses a dip-stick with accurate results in just 25 minutes. The technology detects malaria parasite proteins in the patient’s urine with fever due to malaria. The UMT is simple and affordable, and a potential game changer in managing malaria and saving
lives across Africa.
Dr. Imogen Wright is a South African scientist who holds a first-class degree in physics and computer science from Rhodes University, a Masters in Theoretical Physics from Canada’s Perimeter Institute and a PhD from the University of the Western Cape.
Imogen’s innovation, Exatype is a software solution that enables healthcare workers to determine HIV positive patients’ responsiveness to ARV drug treatment. According to WHO, 71% of people living with HIV/AIDS reside in Africa. Until now, governments’
response has been to ensure access to treatment for all. However, a growing number of people on ARVs are resistant to drug regimens, leading to failure of the therapy, exacerbating the continent’s HIV/AIDS burden. Exatype processes the highly complex
data produced by advanced “next-generation” DNA sequencing of the HIV DNA in a patient’s blood. Through a simple report, it detects drugs that are resistant to the patient, then highlights the need to avoid these to ensure successful treatment. Exatype
has the potential to contribute towards effectively managing HIV/AIDS in Africa, and also holds promise in helping detect drug resistance for other disease burdens such as Tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.
IPA 2016 Judges
Regional Director East Africa – Bankable Frontier Associates
and former IPA judge
Amolo is the East Africa Regional Director of Bankable Frontier Associates (BFA), a consulting company specializing in financial services for low income populations. One of BFA’s flagship projects includes financial diaries chronicling the lives of
low income individuals in several African countries. Until 2015, she was Managing Director of Digital Divide Data Kenya Ltd (DDD), a social enterprise that provides data and research services to companies and governments employing young people from
disadvantaged backgrounds while supporting their higher education.
Amolo joined DDD after a stint at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation where she was Deputy Director, Financial Services, in the Global Development Program. As Deputy Director she worked to improve the scale, range and impact of financial services
available to the poor in developing countries. Prior to her work at the Gates Foundation, Amolo was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Trust for African Rock Art, Nairobi. Prior to that she served as co-founder of Africa Online, East Africa's
first internet provider that operated in eight countries before being bought over by Telkom South Africa. Amolo holds a B.A. in Psychology and Social Relations from Harvard University and a Master's in Public Affairs from Princeton University.
Prof Nyasse Barthelemy
Professor, Department of Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Science,
University of Yaounde 1, Cameroon
Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Teaching, Professionalization and
Development of ICT, University of Bamenda, Cameroon
Professor Nyasse Barthelemy has lectured at the University of Yaounde since 1986 after obtaining his PhD in Chemistry of Materials, alternating between the University of Yaounde (Faculty of Science, Department of Organic Chemistry) and the National
Museum of Natural History Paris (Chemistry Laboratory). After two years of academic services at the university, he joined the University of Uppsala for his second PhD, awarded to him in 1995.
After living in Sweden for six years—where he interned with multi-national pharmaceutical companies, acquiring knowledge on the protection of Intellectual Property (IP) assets and knowledge transfer—he returned to the University of Yaounde in 1995
where he was appointed Professor of Master in 2005. He is also an Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch in South Africa. He teaches organic chemistry and research methodologies in scientific research at the University
of Yaoundé and the University of Bamenda. He is the author of several scientific publications on the chemistry of natural products, IP and organic synthesis.
Dr Catherine Adeya-Weya
Regional Head – East Africa, Fieldstone Private Capital Group
Dr. Catherine Adeya-Weya is an Information Scientist with knowledge and skills in information development issues. These include the social, political and economic potential and impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) particularly in
Africa. Dr. Adeya has over 20 years’ experience in ICT research, having worked for agencies such as the United Nations University/Institute for New Technologies (UNU-INTECH) in the Netherlands.
Dr. Adeya has been published widely in the field of ICTs for Development. She served as the Vision Sector Director for Business Process Outsourcing/Information Technology Enabled Services (BPO/ITES) at the Ministry of Information and Communications
in Kenya from 2012-2013. Her job involved providing strategic leadership for the development of key flagship ICT projects in the Ministry which included Konza Techno City and the National Broadband Strategy. She was the Acting Chief Executive Officer
of the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KOTDA), the agency responsible for spearheading the development of Konza Techno City - the first mixed use technology city in Kenya.
Dr Adeya was the Chief Judge in the first Vision 2030 ICT Innovation Awards in Kenya. She serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Perspectives on Global Development & Technology.
Dr Nhlanhla Msomi
Nationality: South African
Chairman – The Innovation Hub Management Company (TIHMC)
juror and former IPA validator
Dr. Nhlanhla Msomi’s career has spanned research, academia, corporate advisory and entrepreneurship. He worked as a molecular geneticist focusing on genetic mapping of complex polyploids, before joining the Durban University of Technology (Microbial
Biochemistry and Genetics). He quit academia to co-found a biotechnology investment holdings company, with interests in a Molecular Pathology start (BioPath Laboratories) and a large Bioprocess company (SA Bioproducts). Dr. Msomi has served as a partner
in a corporate advisory firm (now Quartile Capital) responsible for, inter alia, the operationalisation of the Kwa Zulu Natal (KZN) Growth Fund, a public-private partnership fund and establishing an investment ventures division. He was also a member
of the founding Investment Committee of the Southern African Intellectual Property Fund. He is currently group CEO of MSQ Health (a company of Safika Holdings’ healthcare portfolio).
He has intermittently returned to public service, first as the CEO of the East Coast Biotechnology Regional Innovation Centre and then interim CEO of the Technology Innovation Agency. He has also served on the Boards of the Council for Scientific and
Industrial Council (CSIR), National Advisory Committee on Innovation (NACI), and South African Society of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (as President). In addition to chairing the TIHMC board, he is a member of the Board of Governors
at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB).
Dr Toluwalogo Odumosu
Assistant Professor - Science, Technology & Society, University of
Virginia(UVA), School of Technology
Former IPA validator
Dr. Odumosu’s academic work focuses on telecommunication policy and the engineering of mobile systems on the African continent. His work touches on communications research, the development of national engineering infrastructures and the growth of trans-national
markets across the continent. He has conducted research on mobile communications in Nigeria and South Africa, and undertaken a comparative study of the development and emergence of the telecommunications industry in the European Union and United States.
In addition to teaching, conducting research at UVA and consulting at PF Systems, one of the most innovative and successful professional audio design firms in Nigeria, Dr. Odumosu is also a research associate at Harvard University’s School of Engineering
and Applied Sciences and at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Business. He has just completed a book on the importance of science and technology policy, and research cultures to innovation and the competitiveness of nations.