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Saturday, January 27, 2024

Sahara Group Foundation, Sahara Tanzania Limited Unveil Africa’s Next Generation Innovators

In an inspiring event that seamlessly blended creativity, innovation, and a steadfast commitment to shaping Africa’s future, Sahara Tanzania Limited, a Sahara Group downstream company, and Sahara Group Foundation, the social sustainability vehicle for Sahara Group, hosted the first edition of the Sahara STEAMers Programme National Demo Day competition.

The Sahara STEAMers programme, an afterschool initiative in partnership with STEMCafe, was established in 2022 with the primary aim of fostering innovation, creativity, and excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) education among secondary school students in Africa.

Equipping participants with the knowledge and skills required to create innovative solutions addressing real-world problems across various sectors, including energy, agriculture, security, healthcare, and transportation, the programme is instrumental in creating a pipeline of Africa’s next generation leaders and social innovators.

The Tanzanian Demo Day Event this year featured students from Tambaza Secondary School and Kisutu Secondary School. Collaborating in teams, these students passionately presented their innovative solutions to a panel of judges. The Demo Day showcased a diverse group of young Tanzanian problem solvers with brilliant prototype designs aimed at tackling prevalent social issues in their communities.

Deeply impressed by the students' unwavering dedication to making a tangible impact in their communities at such a young age, Ejiro Gray, Director of Sahara Group Foundation, lauded the students' passion, intelligence, creativity, and problem-solving skills. She stated that, for some of the students, their participation in the Sahara STEAMers programme marked their first real interaction with technology and its practical applications in addressing real-world challenges.

Gray extended her heartfelt congratulations to all participants, urging them to persist in cultivating their newfound skills and embracing future opportunities to refine them for driving positive societal change. In conclusion, Gray affirmed that the inspiring display witnessed at the event was not merely a fleeting moment but a clear manifestation of the steadfast commitment of both Sahara Group Foundation and Sahara Tanzania Limited to empower young minds across Africa. This commitment is geared towards nurturing a future generation equipped to lead with innovation, compassion, and a lasting impact, thereby shaping a world where positive change becomes an inherent part of their journey.

Applauding the outstanding accomplishments of the participating students, Kunle Onadeko, Terminal Operations Manager at Sahara Tanzania Limited, underscored the pivotal role of the Sahara STEAMers programme in nurturing young talents and fostering their innovative skills. He expressed, "The Sahara STEAMers programme transcends being a mere initiative; it acts as a catalyst for transformative change.

Onadeko further emphasized that the quality of innovations on display is proof of the significant impact that comes from investing in young people and igniting their minds to see no limits. He encouraged the students to continue on this innovative thinking pathway, stating that the future of Tanzania, and Africa at large, is truly sustainably bright.

After an engaging and lively competition, the judges praised the students for their ability to conceive and develop viable solutions before announcing the winners.

Team Katone from Tambaza Secondary School clinched the top position with their innovative Smart Water Leveling System, an advanced sensor that delivers precise real-time water level data. The Smart Leveling System facilitates efficient water distribution and will further encourage sustainable water management practices.

In a close pursuit, Team Young Girls from Kisutu Secondary School achieved the first runner-up position with their groundbreaking Water Salinity and pH Monitoring device. This innovative tool detects contaminants promptly, allowing for a timely response to safeguard water quality for both consumption and environmental preservation.

Securing the second runner-up position was STF from Tambaza Secondary School. The team devised a Car Alcohol Detection System that effectively prevents drunk driving. This solution seamlessly integrates alcohol detection technology into vehicles' ignition systems, ensuring only sober drivers can start the vehicle.

As we celebrate the remarkable innovations showcased on this momentous day and witness the rise of Africa's next generation social innovators, it is evident that the nexus between education and innovation plays a pivotal role in Africa's advancement. Through empowering initiatives like the Sahara STEAMers programme, Sahara Tanzania Limited and Sahara Group Foundation are actively shaping a trajectory for a more resilient, prosperous, and sustainable Africa.

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