Dr. Dougbeh Nyan Wins 2017 African Innovation Special Prize Award

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

Liberian scientist and medical doctor Dougbeh Chris Nyan has won the prestigious Innovation Prize for Africa Award for Social Impact, according to a press release. Dr. Nyan won the award for his invention of a medical test that can detect and identify many infections in less than one hour using one test.

According to experts, ‘the Nyan-test’ is easy to use and less expensive. It will cut down the long waiting time for test results and will serve remote communities in Africa and the world.

In many African countries, most healthcare facilities in cities and remote areas have limited access to high-tech diagnostic tools, thereby making it difficult to provide services that detect and differentiate infections that show the same symptoms when for example a patient has malaria, typhus, yellow fever, or Ebola.

However, Dr. Nyan’s single-test is able to pinpoint the infections or rule out others in less than an hour, making it faster and easier for doctors to give specific treatments at affordable costs.

The African Innovation Prize (IPA), which mirrors the Nobel Prize, is an award organized six years ago by the African Innovation Foundation (AIF), a Swiss-based foundation founded by the philanthropist-entrepreneur Jean-Claude Bastos De Morais. This year (2017), the AIF saw over 2,500 applicants from across the African continent and from which judges selected 10 finalists that met in Accra, Ghana for the final innovation showdown.

Accepting the African Innovation Price Special Award for Social Impact, Dr. Nyan thanked the African Innovation Foundation for recognizing and supporting innovators on the African continent and asked African governments to commit enough financial resources to support African innovators. Dr. Nyan said, “just as African leaders gather to send military forces to solve political conflicts, so too should African governments come together and support African innovators who are fighting a war by using science and technology to improve the health and well-being of Africa and the world.”

The President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, who addressed the award ceremony, has committed one percent of his country’s GDP to support science, technology, engineering and math programs in Ghana.

Asked what is next for his project, Dr. Nyan said, “We are looking forward to our field trials and seeking investment partnerships that will lead to the production of our diagnostic test.” Dr. Nyan won a prize money of $25,000 for the “Special Social Impact” of his innovation. Two other prize winners were Philippa Makobore of Uganda, who took second place with a $25,000 purse, and Aly El-Shafei of Egypt, who won the grand prize of $100,000.

The other seven finalists each get a $5,000 participation voucher. Aly El-Shafei developed the “Smart Electro-Mechanical Actuator Journal Integrated Bearing” which improves the efficiency of energy generating turbines and can reduce the costs of generating energy in Africa. Philippa Makobore’s invention is the “Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set” which delivers infusion in pediatric patients with high accuracy.

In closing comments, Dr. Nyan said, “I would like to congratulate my fellow innovators and contestants as from a pan-Africanist and humanitarian perspective, I see that Africa and the world are the winners.”


  1. congratulations to my dear friend and brother foe the step in helping our poor people in the fight to help better their lives.
    Edwin N. Dennis

  2. Congratulations Dr. Nyan for your innovation, and particularly, for putting Liberia on the map of experts. We are proud of you my friend.

  3. Investment in human capital is never a waste. Dr. Nyan, you have made your parents proud! You have made Liberia proud! You have made Africa proud! Congratulations!!!!!!

    We need more young Liberians to follow Dr.Nyan’s footsteps in the medical field instead of politics.

    p/s: University graduates with B.SC. or Master Degrees in Liberia who are interested in majoring in biomedical engineering could contact African Biomedical Engineering Consortium (ABEC) for a scholarship.
    Kenyatta University, School of Engineering
    P.O. Box 43844-00100
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Deadline to apply is Aug.13,2017
    “A total of 10 PhD, 9 Master’s and 3 staff mobility award are expected to be made in the first round.”
    Good Luck!

  4. Congratulations Dr. Nyan for your hard work in medicine,we are so proud of you as a Liberian. Thank you.

    Bijou Brisbane


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here