The Star (Nairobi)

12 April 2014

Kenyan Listed for Africa Prize

A Kenyan is in the line up of top 10 contenders listed for Innovation Prize for Africa 2014 which comes with $100,000 (Sh8.66 million) reward for the winning idea.

Daniel Thairu has come up with a domestic waste biogas digester that uses decomposable material to generate cooking gas. The waste that can be fed into it ranges from dirty water, food leftovers, spoiled grains, to vegetable peelings.

The traditional biogas system uses animal waste, meaning households without livestock could not benefit from it. Thairu's system is portable and comes in two sizes of 1,000 litres and 2,000 litres, with the smaller one priced at Sh75,000.

Thairu, 49, started his project last year and was partly financed by the government. The IPA programme rewards innovations that make practical solutions to problems across the continent.

The winner will be announced on May 5 in Abuja, Nigeria, and will be selected on the basis of marketability, originality, scalability, social impact and clear business potential. Two runners up will take $25,000 (Sh2.16 million). Thairu is lined up along Ugandan Joshua Okello.

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