Three Kenyans listed among top African visionaries

Innovators recognised for taking leadership in a number of fields. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH
Innovators recognised for taking leadership in a number of fields. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH  

Three Kenyan innovators have been listed among the top 30 visionaries by Quartz Africa. The innovators are recognised for taking leadership in a number of fields including finance, agriculture and healthcare.

They are Dr Chao Charity Mbogo; a programmer and lecturer at Kenya Methodist University, Mr Joel Macharia; founder of Abacus — an online-based investment brokerage platform; and Mr Geoffrey Siwo a biologist at IBM Research Africa

The trio has been featured in the third edition of the Quartz Africa list of innovators shaping various industries on the continent. They were shortlisted from applications from 18 African countries.

Dr Mbogo was recognised for developing a mobile scaffolding application that enables students to learn coding through their cellphones.

The idea was inspired by lack of computers in Africa for students to use to refine their programming skills.

She made an app as part of her doctoral research at the University of Cape Town to help students learn coding over phones.

Abacus, founded by Mr Macharia, enables users to set up an account transfer money, get news and updates on one platform.

He is targeting Kenyans sending money from the diaspora. Mr Macharia, who hosts classes on investing in Nairobi, plans to expand to Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria and Egypt in the next one year. The platform has 7,000 registered users.

Mr Siwo has “designed an algorithm that maps characteristics left behind by metastasizing cancer cells in order to create a molecular map of the cell.

Understanding cancer, he said, will equip scientists with an understating of many areas of biology and help in developing diagnostics and treatments for diseases beyond cancer.

‘‘The influence of their work goes well beyond their immediate community and will ultimately impact millions of lives.

‘‘They’re taking leadership and control in a wide range of fields including finance, healthcare, education, agriculture, design and many other fields,” said Yinka Adegoke, the Quartz Africa editor.