2024 ABCC Top 5 Student Projects

This year’s Top 5 ABCC projects reflect a passion to improve communities’ economies, sustainability, and well-being through creative and viable business concepts.

The following teams will move on to the final stage of the competition to present their business concepts LIVE to our international panel of judges on April 17th and 18th, competing for a chance to win the $5,000 USD scholarship prize!

1st Place


Makerere University, Uganda
Duke University, USA

Team Members:
Vivian Arinaitwe
Joseph Okileng
Sophia Singer
Sajaan Patel

Faculty Mentor:
Julius Mugaga

NeoNest Infant Warmer for Ambulances

NeoNest is the first infant warmer designed for local ambulances and capable of maintaining temperature for thousands of premature babies across Uganda was developed.

Across the world, every 40 seconds, 1 premature baby dies. This equates to one million premature babies dying yearly, with 99% of deaths occurring in low- and middle income countries (LMICs). In Kampala, at Kawempe National Referral Hospital (KNRH), one of Uganda’s largest referral centers, 40% of babies born and received are premature, with most arriving from rural villages 2-4 hours away. During these long trips, ambulance drivers interviewed reported inefficient hypothermia prevention methods, such as “closing windows and placing gloves with warm water around the baby”. Besides these homemade solutions, there is currently no method in Ugandan Ambulances to keep premature babies warm.

 The standard of care in the United States for transport incubators cost well over $5,000 USD. Low cost methods designed for LMICs such as “ The Embrace” are not designed for transportation of preterms, which is the largest challenge for critically ill  preterms in rural villages without access to care. Ambulance personnel in Uganda need a low-cost, accessible solution to prevent hypothermia for premature babies during transport from rural villages to national referral hospitals. 

2nd Place


Africa Nazarene University, Kenya

Team Members:
Olivia Okinyi
Angela Nzomo Musyoka
Mike Langati

Faculty Mentor:
John Ngila

Eco-Nasi Leather

Eco Nasi leather is a more sustainable and eco-friendlier alternative to traditional leather, projected to enter the market with the rising demand for vegan leather among consumers.

The traditional leather industry is responsible for approximately 18% of global industrial water pollution and ranks as the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the textile sector, accounting for 5% of global emissions. According to World Bank, In Kenya alone, the leather industry employs around 14,000 people, many of whom work in hazardous and exploitative conditions. Leather production is a resource intensive process, involving complex production processes that require substantial amounts of water, toxic chemicals and energy. According to a recent European Commission research report, tanning one kg of leather uses up to 2.5kg of chemical substances, 250 liters of fresh water and generates up to 6.1kg of solid waste. Leather production also relies on animal hides which raises serious ethical and environmental concerns. Consumers are increasingly becoming privy to the fact that choosing leather products impacts climate change due to emissions from livestock farming and tanning processes. Brands are beginning to feel the heat and are adapting vegan leather into their collections to mitigate their carbon footprint. 

3rd Place


Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

Team Members:
Jospeh Anokye
Abigail Sume
Isaac Assumang
Emmanuella Aryee
Ama Achiaa Twumasi

Faculty Mentor:
James Osei Mensah

MUSHPLUS Instant Noodles and Protein-Care

MUSHPLUS Instant Noodles (Mushroom-fortified noodles, high in protein and fiber) and “MUSHPLUS Protein-Care” will be a great intervention to curbing PEM among children, whiles improving the income of small holder mushroom farmers.

The FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO report on The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World in 2023, indicates that the world is far “off track” to achieve ZERO HUNGER by 2030. With specific mention of the situation in our region, 281.6 million people are undernourished in Africa, most of which are children. Regardless several efforts and gains made, Protein-Energy Malnutrition (PEM) still remains a burden for the continent and many children suffer from it. According to World Health Organisation report in 2022, PEM contributes to 45% of under-five deaths in Africa, and children with PEM are more susceptible to infections, developmental delays, and chronic health problem. PEM becomes an important issue to tackle especially when children keep consuming foods that are low in protein and fibre. In Ghana, most instant noodles on the market has low protein and fibre which is problem to be addressed. 

Mushroom cultivation has become a source of living for many Ghanaian smallholder farmers, requiring less amount of resources and less impact on climate. In our interview with some local mushroom farmers, high perishable nature of the mushroom make them to lose 80% of their mushrooms when they do not get buyers within two days. 



African Leadership University, Rwanda
University of Sierra Leone, Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone

Team Members:
Michael Williams
Roland Kanu

Faculty Mentor:
Providence Akayezu

Eco Homes Recycling Limited

Eco Homes Recycling Limited is a centralized waste management company that seeks to optimized waste collection and recycling improve on Economic growth and green jobs.

Plastic littering, overflowing waste bins, improper plastic and municipal waste disposal is a massive problem in Sierra Leone. Social norms, a lack of environmental education and legislation, and a lack of critical infrastructure on waste monitoring tracking have all led to waste collection delays by waste management institutions.  This has contributed to the negative behavior and response of the nation’s population to improper plastic waste disposal (Mosbergen, 2016). Estimates show that 865 tons of plastic and other municipal waste is generated daily in Sierra Leone and 314,955 tons per year in the nation’s capital (Freetown City Council, 2020). 

Open burning in landfills is seen as the only feasible option chosen by the country’s current waste management system to get rid of and solve its plastic and municipal waste problem. Most of the plastic bottles and bags are discarded into drains, where they clog waterways and city drainage, leading to flooding.


Université Mohammed VI Polytechnique (UM6P), Morocco

Team Members:
Toheeb Jumah
Farouk EL Qaddouri
Qudus Oladeji

Faculty Mentor:
David (Hyungseok) Yoon

Project SolarVax

Project SolarVax implements smart solar power cold storage systems for vaccines and antibiotics across African countries by piloting from Nigeria, with the model generating income by preventing vaccine wastage during vaccine distribution and supply.

According to the WHO 2019 report, 1.5 million deaths could have been prevented if global vaccination coverage had been insured properly. In Africa, particularly, the most notable barrier to accessing vaccines is location, as concluded from research conducted in Gambia, Liberia, and Sierra Leone by Barrow et al. (2023). Annually, approximately  30 million African children under the age of 5 fall sick from the following vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs), including measles, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, tuberculosis, and yellow fever.In addition, inefficient storage systems lead to supply chain failure as the vaccines spoil at high temperatures. This is further amplified in remote areas, as they are disconnected from the electricity grid and thus have no access to efficient vaccine storage systems. In fact, more than a million COVID-19 vaccine doses were estimated to have been wasted by the end of 2021 in Nigeria due to a cold storage system failure. Inefficient frozen ice packs, vaccine carriers, and cold boxes impact vaccine potency, and their effectiveness is compromised, making them less effective, if not ineffective, during immunization routines in long-distance, remote places.