Noël N’guessan wins Africa Prize

Chemical Engineer Noël N’guessan has won the 2021 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. A prize founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering and supported by the Global Challenges Research Fund.

Noël and his team were awarded the prize by a panel of judges on Thursday 8th July 2021 at a live final event. The award was made based on the team’s innovation, Kubeko. Kubeko is a low-cost biowaste processing equipment that allows smallholder farmers in West Africa to manage and generate income via their biodegradable green waste.

Biowaste represents two to five times the quantity of crops or produce sold. This amounts to 30 million tonnes of waste disposed of annually in Côte d’Ivoire. Noël N’guessan believes that by using this waste farmers can generate extra income to dramatically improve their lives.

16 shortlisted entrepreneurs including Noël were entered for Africa Prize this year. Spanning eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa, all of the shortlisted innovators received eight months of training and mentoring. With this guidance they developed their business plans and learned how to market their innovations.

Africa Prize is Africa’s biggest prize dedicated to engineering innovation. It provides commercialisation support to ambitious African innovators to develop scalable engineering solutions to local challenges. It demonstrates the importance of engineering as tool for facilitating advancement. Award holders can create innovations to improve quality of life and economic development.

After eight months of training there is a showcase event to announce the winner. Noël N’guessan will receive the top prize of £25,000 and three runners-up are awarded £10,000 each.

Watch the below video to find out more about the prize.

Applications are now open for Africa Prize 2022. The deadline for applications is Tuesday 20 July 2021, 12pm BST. Visit