Dr. Dougbeh Nyan Dedicates His 2017 AIP Prize to Liberia, Africa

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(From left) First prize winner Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan, AIP founder Jean-Claude Bastos and 2nd prize winner Phillipa Makobore

African Innovation 2017 Special Prize Laureate Dr. Dougbeh Christopher Nyan has dedicated his award as a gift to the people of Liberia and Africa in commemoration of Liberia’s 170th Independence Anniversary on July 26, 2017.

Dr. Nyan made the dedication in a statement to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. “I am honored to dedicate my AIP 2017 Award as a gift to the people of Liberia, Africa and global humanity as we celebrate the 170th Independence Anniversary of this nation,” said Dr. Nyan.

The Liberian scientist, who was also the 2016 Liberia National Independence Day Orator, recently won the AIP Special Prize for Social Impact for his invention of a new technology to rapidly detect and identify many infections using one test.

The test developed by Dr. Nyan and his team is simple, affordable, and easy to use. The Nyan-Test is of high quality and can be easily used in rural communities in Africa and other countries in the world for diagnosing infections such as HIV, hepatitis, Ebola, yellow fever, malaria, Dengue and many others.

Last year on July 26, 2016, Dr. Nyan served as National Orator of Liberia’s 169th Independence Anniversary. During his 2016 oration, the scientist emphasized the need for government to strongly support science, medicine and technology as a bedrock of Liberia’s progress to meet the technological challenges of the 21st century.

He then made his invention available to the Liberian government and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as his contribution to the fight against infectious diseases in Africa and the whole world.

It may be recalled that Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and other West African countries were hit with the Ebola virus epidemic in 2014 that killed over 10,000 people. During the Ebola outbreak, Dr. Nyan testified before the United States Congress in September 2014 as head of the Diaspora Ebola Task Force at which time he advocated for a coordinated global support for the Ebola affected countries and persuaded the US government to establish an African Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ACDC) on the continent. The African-CDC was established and is presently located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

This year’s African Innovation Prize (IPA) is described as the most competitive with more than 2,500 innovators applying from over 50 African countries. For the first time IPA saw applications from Liberia and Uganda. Ten finalists were selected to compete for three prizes at a grand event hosted in Accra, Ghana. The award was established in 2011 by the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) which was founded by a passionate philanthropist, Jean-Claude Bastos De Morais, who strongly believes in African ingenuity.

“It takes visionaries like Jean-Claude to recognize other visionaries and potential,” said Dr. Nyan who is Chief Scientific Officer of his biotech start-up, Shufflex Biomed. He added that “Africa has too many talents on the continent and in the Diaspora that need to be harnessed and supported. We as Africans have a better understanding of our own problems and are coming up with practical solutions. I hope that other African governments will follow the example of President Akufo-Addo of Ghana to increase their national budgets that will support programs in science, medicine, and technology.”

The judges awarded Dr. Nyan the African Innovation Special Prize for Social Impact with a cash prize of $25,000. Other African innovators who won prizes were Philippa Makobore of Uganda, who took second place with $25,000 for her invention of an Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set which accurately delivers medications in patients through infusion.

Dr. Aly El-Shafei of Egypt won the grand prize, taking home $100,000 for his innovation, the Smart Electro-Mechanical Actuator Journal Integrated Bearing, which improves turbine efficiency and can reduce the cost of producing electrical energy in Africa.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks! Dr. Nyan. I hope the Liberian Government is taking your advice : “Government needs to strongly SUPPORT Science.” SERIOUSLY! There are NO shortages of people in Liberia, who talk a lot; but do little or nothing. Liberia needs people who can turn talks into REALITIES; the Scientists, Doctors Engineers Technicians… Let’s start with BWI. That Institution supplied the TECHNICIANS who built Firestone Plantations, Liberia. B.W.I can do the same for Liberia. Let’s train our own people to build Liberia’s INFRASTRUCTURES. You/We are better served if/when we serve ourselves.

  2. If it’s not happening already, I would suggest that each African nation thinks about hosting its own African Innovation 2017 . This would be like a national Innovation Fair. This would encourage many more innovators who may never hear about African Innovation to submit their ideas on the national level. And if this could work its way down to lower political sub-divisions, like counties for instance, that would get even more innovators working on their ideas. This would serve as the feeder for the African Innovation Awards. There is no doubt in my mind that Africa has the answers to all of its problems, and perhaps even the world’s. It is heartening to read this article. I know we do this with music with the Kora awards. And it is gratifying to see that we are now doing this in the area of technology. This is a great thing for our people. Africans like Dr. Dougbeh Nyan is leading the way in showing us Africans how to think big and how to think about what we can do for others, and not just for ourselves. This is the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ: “Love thy neighbor as yourself.” I am sorry to say that my experience with the church in Liberia, which is growing like a wild fire, has left me with a feeling that the church (with exceptions, of course) is just as me-centered as every other institution there. Our missionary efforts there are going to waste because lots of the people take the resources we bring from the United States for the benefit of all the people and use for their own personal needs. This is very frustrating to a lot of us who are involved in missionary work in Liberia.

    On so many levels, this has been the major stumbling block to progress for decades: The “me-first” and me-only mentality that is the foundation of corruption, nepotism and outright stealing from the people’s natural and financial treasures to support our own personal needs and wants. This has to STOP, or we will forever be the richest continent with the poorest people.

    I have to politely disagree with Mr. Freeman, who has some good ideas, but we are better served when we serve EACH OTHER. That, indeed, is the way of Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life.

    • Rev. D; It’s an old saying: “Better served when you serve yourself.” I don’t mean to be selfish; in this context. By serving OURSELVES, I mean build our INFRASTRUCTURES; by own trained people. Yes! We can; if we truly commit ourselves. My Regards! God Bless…

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