Meet Muazu Adamu, a 27-year-old 2013 Political Science graduate of Kogi State University; an indigene of Kogi State and 2014 winner of Nescafe Get Started Africa Innovation Challenge. Muazu Adamu’s dream is to power Africa through his innovation; the Power Optimizer. He spoke to The Communicator on his dream and mission.
Conceiving the idea
Looking at the power challenge in Africa; basically Nigeria, the innovation is a power booster optimizer that helps boost the power of your generator so that you can use any high voltage electrical appliance in your home while the generator is on. The idea was conceived while in school because as students on campus when there was no electricity we couldn’t get our clothes ironed for lectures. The innovation has been up for over three years now but we’ve been putting it through tests to have it confirmed.
How it works
Once you put on your generator, you plug the extension to it and then the power optimizer is also plugged to the extension and then your appliance is connected to the power optimizer for use.
Managing your innovation before the Nescafe challenge
The first phase for us was to confirm the authenticity of the product by distributing it to neighbours for test run. Then I tried getting investors to come in. I was in the process when I got involved in Nescafe initiative. We had started reaching out to possible buyers and production on a low scale before I won the Nescafe Get Started Africa prize.
Prize money and your innovation
The money has helped me improve my device and increase production for more wholesale purchase. I have also been able to employ a few people which has gained for me more attention, and exposure to business management.
Would you have continued with your innovation if you hadn’t won the challenge?
I would have continued, though it would have been tough but I was determined to solve the problem. The challenge though was a big form of advertisement for us. It was an avenue for us to be known by a larger audience. The prize enabled us print fliers/ stickers to help us reach more business people to talk about the product, and rebrand our product.The competition has exposed me in the area of business management as I have been enrolled in a business training institute in Lagos.
The importance of this device to households has been my greatest motivation and the fact that if it is established on a larger scale, jobs will be created. But personally I don’t engage in what I don’t believe in and once I embark on a mission or project I ensure I give it my best.
Sources of funds before the challenge/vision for the project
Family members supported and are still supporting in many ways. I expect to get an absolute perfect device and an enlarged business in the next 5-10 years.
I see empowering Africa more possible for me at this current stage; more employment opportunities, innovation of other ideas and partnerships. I intend achieving all these in every way possible. I will not restrict myself to the power optimizer as I seek more opportunities and avenues to create wealth for Africans and Nigerians in particular. The success of my project will be a great source of inspiration to many African youths.
Greatest challenge faced by innovators in Africa
Platforms to support young innovators are mostly handled by unprofessional individuals who attach so much sentiment to giving assistance to innovators. ‘Godfatherism’ syndrome is also a problem. But I give my thumbs up to Nescafe Get Started Africa and Tony Elumelu Foundation where youths with great ideas now have a platform to be heard and supported.