May 10, 2013
Moctar Dembele (from Burkina Faso) and Gerard Niyondiko (from Burundi) have developed an anti-malaria soap. These two young Africans study at the 2iE international school located in Burkina Faso. With this invention, they have won the 2013 Global Science Venture Competition (GSVC) organized by the University of California Berkeley (USA). Actually, they are the first non-Americans to win the GSVC.
The Faso Soap is made from different ingredients, including herbs, shea butter, essential oils of lemongrass and other components kept secret. One of these components kills mosquito larva, thus preventing the spread of mosquitos in stagnant waters. It is 100% made with locally available components.
The soap is cheap, compared to malaria preventive drugs manufactured by very powerful pharmaceutical companies. Indeed, one bar of this soap only costs 300 CFA francs (about € 0.45) as opposed to about 10,000 CFA francs (15 €) for 1 case of malaria. In other words, this soap is 33 times cheaper.
These two young inventors have then come up with a simple and affordable solution to help fight a big plague. With the prize money ($25,000) from the GSVC, they intend to improve the formula of the mosquito repellent soap.
Once again, these two young prodigies prove that solutions to African problems will come from Africans themselves. And such a discovery should normally be considered strategic by Burundi and Burkina Faso given its potential impact on Africa and the World. Both countries should be able to help these students patent their formula with WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) to protect it against any form of piracy. But how many current African leaders have such a vision?
To find out more: Global Science Venture Competition