Skip to content

As always, no one hears about this: “Egyptian chosen best innovator in Africa”

March 29, 2012

Googling “Mohamed Sanad Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA)” gives you hits in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Tunisia. None in Egypt. And in Arabic, Ahram has two  lines – literally: 32 words! – on him. There’s a reasonably good article in Sherouk.

So in case you hadn’t heard:




An Egyptian engineer, Prof Mohamed Sanad has been selected as the overall winner of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), bagging $ 100,000 in prize money for inventing the first small internal integrated micro strip antennas for mobile phones.
Sanad, a professor of engineering at Cairo University,  developed a low-cost, lightweight, low wind-load, foldable/deployable, multi-broadband base station antenna; using dual parabolic cylindrical reflectors with novel small size broadband resonant feeds.


Cheap, light and durable antenna that can carry Wimax, GSM, CDMA, and HDTV. Easy to deploy and scale up; think of how useful it could be particularly in areas where ground/cable infrastructure is weak (that is, most of the developing world).

Apparently also,

“the innovation makes it possible to upgrade mobile phone technology without having to discard equipment. For instance, the technology makes it possible to upgrade from 2G to 3G and upwards without adding new equipment, it only requires software upgrade.”

If that works as promised — then it’s an amazing development in mobile technology.


I await the day when Egypt – and the global South – requests the services of people like this man in drafting national technology policies, where infrastructure is usually the biggest hurdle.

(Oh wait, sorry, Ikhwan favours semi-educated idiots over scholars when it comes to drafting policies and constitutions…)


[also: Cairo U, Represent! :]

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah permalink
    March 29, 2012 1:54 pm

    Sad. The Arab world was the leader in math, science, medicine, astronomy, navigation at one time…why should it be a surprise that great innovations come out of the Arab world? Why does the western media portray the entire Middle East as a poverty-stricken war zone fought over by primitive people instead of the more nuanced truth about this region? Maybe it makes them feel superior?


  1. Amr Mohamed, the Nerdy Teenager I wanted to become « mohamed el dahshan. economist, writer, speaker, compulsive traveller.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: