(Business in Cameroon) - The laureates of the first edition of the Science and Technology Awards, launched by the PK Fokam Institute of Excellence, a private Cameroonian university founded by billionaire Paul Kammogne Fokam, and whose mission is to train Africans who can compete with graduates from Western universities; were revealed on 15 June 2017, we officially learned.
Central and Western Africa shared the top two prizes in the two categories under competition, which were the best applied research and technological innovation, and the best achievable business plan. In this latter category, the prize was won by the Togolese microbiologist engineer, Amoussou Gaffan Ayewode. Called Global Biotek, his project consists in producing bio-pesticides from micro-organisms present in the environment, to offer an alternative to the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizer.
In the best applied research and technological innovation category, the first prize was awarded to a group of young Cameroonian scientists, who presented a project on developing sweet varieties of yams which do not harden and are adapted to the agro-climatic conditions of the high-plateaux in the Western region of Cameroon. A real opportunity for those farming this crop, whose preservation and marketing are often impeded by the product quickly hardening after the harvest.
The two laureates each received a FCfa 10 million prize , in addition to the guarantee of having their projects financed by the sponsor of these Science and Technology Awards. The 2nd prize winners in each category received FCfa 2.5 million each and the guarantee of having their projects funded. Additionally, a special prize with a financial reward of FCfa 3 million was awarded to Cameroonian Joseph Nke, who manufactures handcrafted equipment for cocoa processing.