The Federal Ministry of Education and Research recently hosted the 1st German-African Innovation Incentive Award (GAIIA) during which Hon. Anja Karliczek, German Federal Minister of Research, bestowed the German-African Innovation Incentive Award upon Dr. Angela Musiimenta, a woman scientist from Uganda as well as three of her male colleagues from Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria – together with their German cooperation partners – in recognition of their outstanding research achievements.
Dr. Angela Musiimenta’s award-winning project was about using a novel multimedia application for mobile phones to improve health-related information for pregnant women in rural areas, including illiterate women in Uganda. The objectives of her innovation, among others, were to (1.) develop a conceptual model for supporting maternal health using mobiles, (2.) develop a mobile application composed of videos and audios for maternal health, available both for the literate and illiterate benefiting from the audio segment, (3.) determine the impact of the application on the maternal health knowledge, their attitudes and practices especially by women and (4.) to study accessibility, feasibility and effectiveness.
The multimedia innovation of using visual and audio platforms will avail women information about healthy eating, advantages of breast feeding, and the necessity of having antenatal check-ups.
Federal Minister Anja Karliczek said that “the German-African Innovation Incentive Award is a measure that forms part of our Africa Strategy, which the Federal Ministry of Education and Research has launched to support science, research and development in Africa.” She continued that “I am delighted that today we are able to bestow the awards on such promising talents and projects. The winners are courageously making inroads with their joint projects that create innovative solutions for Africa and offer her people new prospects. We are gathered here today in recognition of their scientific achievements and to help promote sustainable development on the African continent. Because we feel it is important, and this is a core objective of our Africa Strategy, to support scientists of both genders in their research. This is why we will be bestowing the awards in coming years, too, as we wish to continue to provide important stimuli for German-African cooperation and innovations in Africa.”
Prof. Dr. Hartmut Ihne, President of the Hochschule Bonn-Sieg (University of Applied Sciences), introduced each awardee, and thanked them for their dedication shown with the results of their successful innovative projects. These were (1.) Dr. Angela Musiimenta, Mbarara University of Science & Technology, Uganda, (2.) Dr. Isah E. Muchilwa, Moi University, School of Engineering, Eldoret, Kenya, (3.) Dr. Tarek Metwally Kalil, German University, Cairo, Egypt and (4.) Dr. Kolawole A. Olonade, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ibadan, Nigeria.
Each prize was worth EUR 150,000 and is awarded in the form of project funding for collaborative German-African projects.