Charging mobile phones with bikes and scrap

Just last week two African inventors won recognition for inventions that involved scrap, bicycles and mobile phones.

William Kamkwamba grew up as a farmer in Malawi, at the age of just 14, he had built his own wind generator.

During a drought his families fortunes collapsed and he spent his time in libraries reading and discovering about wind energy. He found components for his invention in a scrap  yard; a tractor fan, shock absorber, PVC pipes and a bicycle frame.

When his prototype was able to run four bulbs people arrived to charge their mobile phone. William has just appeared on TED  Global conference in Oxford this week to the conference to tell the audience how he did this.

Another inventor has already appeared on Afrigadjet and has just been discovered by the BBC. Pascal Katana, 22 who with Jeremiah Murimi, 24, has gone beyond fish and has invented a dynamo-powered “smart charger” to help people without electricity in rural areas to charge their cell phones. The system costs $4.50 and it takes an hour to fully charge a cell phone.

These two young men developed the idea during summer break. Wish I had so much energy in my holiday.  These guys should be at Maker Faire in Ghana this August.

10 comments » Write a comment

  1. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT SUCH INNOVATIONS. THEY HELP AFRICA TO MAKE PROGRESS IN DEVELOPMENT. HOW CAN I AQUIRE SUCH KIND OF TECHNOLOGICAL LITERATURE IN BOOK FORM?

  2. i would like to find out more on such innovations. how can i aquire book literature, journals and articles on similar innovations?

  3. i love this idea! great to see people coming up with ideas that put power in people’s hands :)

  4. I am an social entrepreneur at the beginning, from Uganda, involved in appropriate Education for rural african chidlren. I want to inspire a spirit of innovativeness in African children. I am greatly impressed by this site. I will use your site to teach. I would like to get in touch with you.

    Monica

  5. I’m living in Ivory Coast and I’d like to by the dynamo-powered”smart charger” , so where can I find it.

    regards

  6. Hi Toscanetti, I’ve forwarded your message to Pascal Kantana to respond to you directly. Good luck!

  7. I’ve been following these two stories and even though I am unable to finance Pascal and Jeremiah I would definitely like to share these positive stories with the African continent when Season 2 of The Patricia Show begins recording.
    Kindly facilitate contact.

  8. I am Pascal, the inventor of the bicycle charger and fish caller system. I’d love to share ideas and learn from fellow innovators. You can reach me on +254733364218