10th Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation awarded to Esther Kimani

Last night, Esther Wanjiru, CEO FarmerLifeline was crowned the winner of the 2024 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, making her the third woman, and second Kenyan innovator to win in the programme’s 10 year history!

Her early crop pest and disease detection device was selected as the winning innovation for its ability to swiftly detect and identify agricultural pests and diseases, reducing crop losses for smallholder farmers by up to 30% while increasing yields by as much as 40%.

This year has seen the Africa Prize alumni community grow to almost 150 entrepreneurs from 23 countries, who together have generated more than 28,000 jobs and benefitted more than 10 million people on the continent through their innovative products and services. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Prize, the Royal Academy of Engineering hosted the Africa Prize Alumni Reunion, bringing together 100 innovators from the past decade for a three-day programme ahead of the final ceremony.

The three runners up, who were each awarded £15,000 to develop their innovations, were:  

Eco Tiles, Kevin Maina, Kenya:

  • An environmentally friendly roofing material made from recycled plastic. Stronger and lighter than clay or concrete tiles, the innovation is a dual solution to plastic pollution and high building costs.

La Ruche Health, Rory Assandey, Côte d’Ivoire:

  • La Ruche Health connects communities to vital health information, advice, and services through “Kiko”, an AI chatbot tool available on WhatsApp and mobile apps, and a digital backend solution to streamline documentation, billing, and data sharing for practitioners.

Yo-Waste, Martin Tumusiime, Uganda:

  • Addressing Uganda’s mounting waste crisis, Yo-Waste is a location-based mobile application that connects homes and businesses to independent agents for efficient on-demand rubbish collection and disposal.


The ‘One to Watch’ award was also awarded to Dr Abubakari Zarouk Imoro on the night for their innovation’s impact on local communities. Voted for by live and online audiences, Dr Imoro receives £5,000, conferred in 2024 in honour of Martin Bruce, a late Ghanaian alumnus of the Africa Prize.

This blog has been adapted from Royal Academy’s blog post. Read their full blog post here.