American Society of Mechanical Engineers innovation showcase i

Another evidence to support the notion that Kenya is the country to beat in Africa as far as technology innovation is concerned came recently from an innovation showcase (ISHOW) sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). As far as high tech goes in Africa, Kenya seems to be creating all the good stuff. Who can forget MPesa, the highly successful international Internet payment system?

ASME of course is the leading professional society for mechanical engineers in the world, with headquarters in New York City. The top-ten achievements of the mechanical engineering profession include: the automobile, the Apollo (space) program, power (electricity) generation, agricultural mechanization, the airplane, (computer) integrated-circuit mass production, air-conditioning and refrigeration, computer-aided engineering technology, bioengineering, and the development of codes and standards. Thus, mechanical engineering is synonymous with the development of human civilization. Disciplines such as chemical engineering, nuclear engineering, agricultural engineering, material science and engineering, and aerospace engineering were originally part of mechanical engineering. I became a member of ASME in 1987, rising through the ranks to now be a Fellow of this world renowned professional society.

In the 3 July 2017 article in this column, I reported on “Startup Battlefield Africa Competition,” in which African tech startups will battle it out in Nairobi, Kenya, in a context sponsored by the American company with the name TechCrunch, website, in partnership with Facebook. The overall winner in the competition will take home a cash award of twenty five thousand US dollars ($25,000). For this competition, startups can apply to one of three categories: social good, productivity and utility or gaming and entertainment. As long as your company fits into one of these categories and you meet the eligibility criteria listed in the original article,…

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