By Adedapo Adesanya
A 26-year-old Nigerian is currently making waves for creating a smokeless cook stove. The young inventor, Max Chinnah, alongside his Ghanaian partner, Godwin Attigah, has patented his innovation, which will contribute to tackling climate change in the globe.
Mr Chinnah, a graduate of the Wartburg College in Iowa, United States, hopes that the portable and smokeless cookstove will someday help save lives around the planet.
The smokeless cookstove converts heat into electricity and outputs it through a USB jack to charge a phone or other small electronic device.
Mr Chinnah and his partner and fellow alumnus, Mr Godwin Attigah, founded Terraoak Inc., which is the parent company that will manufacture the stove in large quantities and launch global sales from September.
“We’re on a mission to push back against these global threats in order to ensure a greener future for the next generation!”, the company said on its Facebook page.
“We are deeply committed to making this dream a reality because it’s a big problem and something we’ve experienced personally,” Mr Chinnah said. “For us it’s very real and raw and very personal.”
It was learned that the Nigerian lost his grandmother to respiratory difficulties that resulted from cooking over open fires.
Based on the level of early sales, Terraoak has already reached an arrangement with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to give away 1,000 stoves to farmers in rural Kenya.
The stove had won a $10,000 innovation prize at Yale University’s Global Health Innovation Conference in 2016, which funded field tests under harsh conditions in Ghana but funds from Red Cedar, a local organization created to help startups and entrepreneurs connect with resources got them off the ground.
A scholarship package helped Mr Chinnah get to Wartburg in 2011, where he studied Computer Science and met his business partner, Godwin Attigah, an international student from Ghana when both of them began to seek funds to secure a utility patent for the stove and prepare it for manufacturing.
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