Brussels, 17 October 2016/ ACP: An inventor from Burkina Faso Mr. Christian Cédric Toe, won the Time Innovation Award sponsored by the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP Group) at the 3rd edition of the Rebranding Africa Forum held in Brussels on 13-15 October 2016.

In addition to the €10,000 award, the winner was also granted €150,000 from the local bank Coris Bank Burkina to help finalise and produce his “laafi bag” invention.

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The laafi bag is a light cooling bag, for the transport of vaccines, laboratory samples and perishable goods. Equipped with a photovoltaic module to conserve and regulate the temperature inside, it allows vaccines and other sensitive products to be delivered into the most critical or inaccessible areas without interruption of the cold chain.

The award was presented at the gala dinner which concluded the 3rd Rebranding Africa Forum, which aims to encourage progress and development on the African continent. The event was attended by the ACP Secretary General H.E. Dr. Patrick Gomes, the Assistant Secretary General in charge of Sustainable Economic Development and Trade Mr. Viwanou Gnassounou, as well as other members of the ACP Secretariat.

The Secretary General highlighted the Private Sector strategy of the ACP Group, which focuses on empowering the Youth and the Women, especially in the youngest continent which is Africa, with about 60% of the population being under 20 years old.

“We are working on designing models and mechanisms which would enable the largest number of entrepreneurs, generally in the urban informal or agricultural sector to benefit from a more enabling business environment, accede to affordable and predictable financing. With this, we aim at densifying our economies, building regional value chains and support the development of companies which can become regional champions,” he stated at the opening.

Other prize winners of the night include:

Development Champion Rebranding Africa Award – Carlos Lopes, Execuive Secretary of UNECA
Business Leadership Rebranding Africa Award – Paul Fokam, President of Afriland First Bank
Media Leadership Rebranding Africa Award – Francis Laloupo, Director of GenrIS Medias Entreprises
Empowering Women Rebranding Africa Award – Cécile Kyenge, Member of the European Parliament
Governance Leadership Rebranding Africa Award – Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, President of Burkina Faso
Lifetime Achievement Rebranding Africa Award – Godefrey Nzamujo, Director of the regional SONGHAÏ Centre based in Porto-Novo, Benin

(Photo: Winner of the innovation award sponsored by ACP, Mr. Christian Cedric Teo/ Photo by

Read also: Secretary General calls for commitment to rebranding the African continent

– ACP Press/ Rebranding Africa Forum