You have probably heard about inventions like the cotton gin, the light bulb, the aeroplane, and the bicycle. However, many valuable inventions are overlooked. Among the countless innovators behind these devices are African inventors.
Below, you will learn about seven of the most famous African inventors.
Engineer Severin Kezeu from Cameroon is an African inventor who has excelled in the software field. He has a PhD in Software Engineering and invented the computerised anti-collision system known as N@vigator.
The system is compatible with cars, trains, security gates, and planes. Kezeu’s invention gathers data such as the position of the equipment, the load that it is carrying, its speed and that of the wind, and direction. With all that information, the system calculates the possibility of collision. If the risk of collision is high, the system sends a warning to the person operating it.
He is now the owner of a Dubai-based industrial company that is worth over millions of dollars. He has employed various engineers and technicians. Moreover, he started an industrial maintenance school in Cameroon.
Morris Mbetsa stands tall among African inventors. Despite coming out of high school with no formal training in electronics, the Kenyan innovator came up with an SMS-based vehicle anti-theft system. Morris is a self-taught Electronic and Technology Engineer from a tender age of eight.
He is credited with inventing the GPRS IMMOBILISER. The unique system works with a program that is installed on your mobile phone. The system is configured with the vehicle’s engine. After the installation of the complete system, the owner of the vehicle can lock its doors with a simple SMS. In case the vehicle has been stolen, the owner can simply immobilise the vehicle by sending an SMS with a code. The vehicle simply stalls wherever it is as long as network coverage is available. Moreover, with Mbetsa’s system, the owner of the car is able to pinpoint the exact location of the vehicle.
Morris hasn’t stopped there. He has gone further and come up with other inventions as well. He built a tablet for pupils, for example. Additionally, he invented equipment to tap kinetic energy.
Just like many African countries in Rural areas, Cameroon faces poor access to healthcare. Therefore, Cameroonian engineer Arthur Zang came up with the continent’s foremost handheld medical computer, the Cardiopad.
The device helps to detect heart-related complications. The hand-held 25-centimetre device, which is a touchscreen tablet comes in handy and gives health care providers an avenue where they can perform cardiac tests (like an ECG). One of the tests that are readily carried out by this device includes electrocardiograms. Before this device, the test could only be carried out at bigger health institutions, and this was a disadvantage to many rural healthcare centres. After the tests are carried out using the Cardiopad, the results are transmitted wirelessly by the doctors through the internet for interpretations and further consultations.
The Cardiopad has been found to be very effective and is being used in many health centres in Cameroon. Arthur’s Cardiopad has not only revolutionised cardio treatment in Cameroon but also showed many inventors that their economic state is not a stumbling block to their ability to grow technologically.
At a young age, Chakroun Abdellah became one of the youngest inventors not only in Morocco but also in Africa. By the age of 18, he had already finished his first innovation. And after clocking 25 years, he had come up with more than 35 different other innovations. He is known for his expertise in vehicles, military as well as medical equipment. He has gained a reputation in the military field where he is credited with coming up with some sophisticated weapons.
An example of his inventions is the square rotor rotary engine that can increase power and speed and is better than many of the options available in the market. Additionally, this innovation reduces the consumption of fuel.
Ngalula Sandrine Mubenga
Ngalula Sandrine Mubenga is a Congolese Engineer and Assistant Professor at the University of Toledo. She is the brilliant mind that transformed an electric car into a hybrid car by integrating a fuel cell. The fuel cell is a device that is electrochemical in nature. It then converts hydrogen into electricity. In turn, the vehicle runs using hydrogen and the only ‘waste’ that it releases is water.
At first, the car was travelling at 67km/h but thanks to the hybrid system, the car prototype recorded speeds of up to 191km/h. Additionally, Sandrine has also designed a hydrogen-powered gas station that runs on solar energy.
Therese Izay Kirongozi
Therese Izay Kirongozi is one of the top African inventors and is credited for her success in coming up with human-like robots that have been essential in controlling traffic in Kinshasa, Congo. The robots have revolving chests that allow them to carry out the job of four traffic lights. Additionally, they are fitted with cameras that can record and monitor the drivers.
The robots operate around the clock and are powered by solar energy. Some of the robots are even programmed to give pedestrians instructions.
Henri Johnson from South Africa is an engineer who has applied his background in radar and sonar to develop technology that measures the speed and direction of tennis and cricket balls during play. This technology is being used across the globe and provides captivating understandings into that flight path that balls follow and the techniques of famous players.
In his heyday, he developed radar technology that could measure velocity as well as the ballistics of projectiles that were in flight. More than 20 countries use this technology with their militaries.
Many of these inventors’ inventions have made life more comfortable for people in Africa and the world at large.