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Ghana’s Charlette N’Guessan Becomes First Female To Win Royal Academy Engineering Prestigious African Prize

A Ghanaian female technology entrepreneur, Charlotte N Guesaan is the first ever woman to win the Royal Academy Engineering Prestigious African Prize of £25,000 (192,000 GHS).

The African Prize for Engineering Innovation was founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK in 2014, and ever since it has become Africa’s biggest prize dedicated to engineering innovation and a pave of identifying successful engineering entrepreneurs.

Its the 6th year for them, its aim is to supports talented sub-Saharan African entrepreneurs with engineering innovations, that address crucial problems in their communities in a new and appropriate way.

The 26-year old Guessan and her team developed BACE API, a software that uses facial recognition and artificial intelligence to verify identities remotely. The software can be integrated into existing apps and systems and is aimed at financial institutions and other industries that rely on identity verification when providing services.

Guesson’s BACE API specifically uses live images or short videos taken on phone cameras to detect whether the image is of a real person or a photo.

“We are very proud to have Charlette N’Guessan and her team win this award, it is essential to have technologies like facial recognition based on African communities, and we are confident their innovative technology will have far reaching benefits for the continent” Rebecca Enonchong, Africa Prize judge said.

During the global pandemic, BACE API has emerged as a perfect alternative to the initial in- person verification processes used by most businesses, such as fingerprints or personal appearances, as companies can now authenticate new or existing customers without ever meeting them.

James Duddridge MP, Minister for Africa, UK, said: “Congratulations to all the participants in this year’s Africa Prize. The UK is a hub of engineering innovation, and home to a wealth of entrepreneurial talent and experience. By partnering this talent with the most promising African innovators we can create local solutions to global challenges, transforming lives and improving economies.”

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