Out of 15 African innovators, Sierra Leonean innovator and founder of Smart Green Stove, Margaret Yainkain Mansaray has been shortlisted for 2023 UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.
Margaret’s Smart Green Stove is an efficient non-electric cooking device designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and health risks that disproportionately affect women and girls in Africa. It also saves time spent cooking and reduces energy use by 70%.
The stove burns briquettes made from recycled local materials such as coconut and jelly shells which are usually discarded. Its frame is made from recycled metal which houses a ceramic insulator made of clay mixed with waste coconut fibre and sawdust.
“MY TEAM AND I ARE WORKING TIRELESSLY TO UPLIFT WOMEN AND GIRLS BY ADDRESSING TIME AND ENERGY POVERTY. THIS WILL ALLOW THEM GREATER CONTROL OF THEIR PRODUCTIVITY, BECAUSE TIME IS MONEY. I’VE ALWAYS BEEN THE ONLY WOMAN IN A ROOM FULL OF MEN, AND SO ONE OF MY AIMS IS TO EDUCATE WOMEN AND GIRLS, SPECIFICALLY ON THE ROLE ENGINEERING CAN PLAY IN IMPROVING THEIR LIVES.”
Margaret Yainkain Mansaray
Margaret who is an energy practitioner and gender expert said he developed the Smart Green Stove to reduce the time girls and women spend cooking food and furthermore help to mitigate energy poverty in Sierra Leone. In her efforts to tackle energy poverty in her home country of Sierra Leone, the young innovator founded Women in Energy, a company aim to improve the lives of girls in Sierra Leone.
ABOUT THE AFRICA PRIZE FOR ENGINEERING INNOVATION – WHAT IT IS?
Founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation is Africa’s biggest prize that aims to stimulate, celebrate and reward innovation and engineering entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa. It awards crucial commercialisation support to ambitious African innovators developing scalable engineering solutions to local challenges. The work of these entrepreneurs demonstrates the importance of engineering as an enabler of improved quality of life and economic development.
An eight-month period of tailored training and mentoring for up to 16 shortlisted entrepreneurs culminates in a showcase event. The winner will receive £25,000, and three runners-up will win £10,000 each. An additional One-to-Watch award of £5,000 will be given to the most promising innovator.
See the full list of the 2022-2023 shortlisted cohort here.