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26-year-old African Lady wins £25000 UK Engineering prize, becoming the first woman to do so.

Charlette N’Guessan, a 26-year-old lady from Ivory Coast, has become the first woman to win the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation is sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering in London, UK, and annually awards £25,000 to Scientists and Engineers with outstanding innovations.

Charlette N’Guessan and her team, on the other hand, won the 2020 award for developing BACE API, a digital verification system that uses Artificial Intelligence and facial recognition to verify Africans’ identities remotely and in real-time.

N’Guessan explained how the system works, saying that the BACE API works by matching a user’s live photo to the image on their documents, such as passports or ID cards.

“For the person trying to submit their application, we ask them to switch on their camera to make sure the person behind the camera is real, and not a robot. We are able to capture the face of the person live and match their image with the one on the existing document the person submitted,” she explained.

The Africa Prize judges and a live audience voted in favor of Charlette N’Guessan’s innovation, according to a statement from the Royal Academy of Engineering.

“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,” said Rebecca Enonchong, an entrepreneur from Cameroon and Africa Prize judge in the statement.

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