A Rwandan national has won the first prize in Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region innovation contest.
The contest attracted over 200 contestants in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Isidore Nzeyimana, who fabricates ovens that use less fuel wood, was awarded $10,000 and a certificate in recognition of his innovation.
The innovation, dubbed “Tekutangije,” provides a solution to a major crisis.
Nzeyimana conceived the idea of Tekutangije ovens in 2009 when he realised there was a remarkable scarcity of fuel wood and misuse of what was available.
“Tekutangije is a project that fabricates ovens that use less fuel wood compared to others. It is an oven that can carry out different cooking activities at once, like cooking food, boiling water and roasting anything you want, which leads to using less fuel. Besides, it has a smoke channel to avoid environment degradation,” he said.
The contest was organised by Comesa to award best innovators from member states.
The list of contesters in the country was selected by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Dr Marie Christine Gasingirwa, the in-charge of science, technology and research at the Ministry of Education, said Rwandans have made tremendous progress in innovations.
“It is a pleasure for the country to have a citizen who has received the first COMESA prize for innovation. Good innovation is one that offers solutions to existing problems. Nzeyimana competed with many innovators but what made is unique is that it provides a solution to the problem of fuel wood,” Gasingirwa said.
The winner, who was announced last week, commended the government for supporting him to develop his idea.
Nzeyimana also pledged to use the chance to spread Tekutangije ovens at both local and Comesa region at an affordable price.
Tekutangije ovens are fabricated in Karuruma, Jabana sector in Gasabo District near Phoenix melting factory.