Global Hardware Competition Ghanaian inventor shares grand prize with two others

Charles Antipem built a portable science set for students. He shared the award with two other inventors namely Uganda’s Brian Gitta and Kenya’s Roy Allela.

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A Ghanaian inventor Charles Antipem has been awarded the grand prize at the Global Hardware Competition.

Charles Antipem built a portable science set for students. He shared the award with two other inventors namely Uganda’s Brian Gitta and Kenya’s Roy Allela.

Roy Allela created a sign language to speech translation glove developed to address language barriers between sign language users and the general public.

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Brian Gitta made a noninvasive device used to test for Malaria. It uses custom-made hardware connected to a smartphone to aid easy diagnosis within households.

Meanwhile, Charles Antipem invented an affordable, portable, practical and highly scalable science lab that can fit in the bag and on the desk of students.

In Ghana, many see science as a difficult subject. However, Antipem’s invention is to revolutionaries Science education in Ghana and across Africa while dispelling the notion that science is difficult and boring. He hopes to make this happen by putting an affordable and accessible mini science lab in every student’s school bag.

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According to World Health Organisation even though death rates have fallen steadily over the past 15 years, malaria remains a significant life-threatening disease, and nearly half of the world’s population continues to be at risk. Brian Gitta said by offering a cost-effective, early detection, non-invasive hardware solution, his invention will help reduce the number of people affected and mitigate the severity of their symptoms while cutting down the length of treatment and amount of medication needed.

More than 30 million people around the globe have speech impairments and must rely on sign language, which poses a language barrier when seeking to communicate with non-sign language users. Roy Allela sign language to speech translation glove recognises various letters signed by sign language users and transmits this data to an Android application where it is vocalised.

All three winners will share the $500,000 along with three other winners in Bangalore, India last April, and three more in Washington, DC over the coming weeks.

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The prize is offered by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the world's largest organisation for mechanical engineers.

ASME’s esteemed panel of judges was vastly impressed by Matibabu, Science Set, and Sign-io’s innovative and globally scalable solutions to enhance the quality of life for populations in need. 

“The unique solutions of our three African winners will radically transform and elevate the way their beneficiaries live, allowing them to thrive in ways that were previously impossible,” said K. Keith Roe, president of ASME.

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“Their display of creativity and ingenuity, and that of their peers, fully embodies the spirit of the ISHOW and exemplifies the potential of tomorrow’s engineering problem-solvers and business leaders.”

ASME helps the global engineering community develop solutions to real world challenges.  Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organisation that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society.  ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge and a safer world.  For more information, visit

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