Two African Students Awarded Top Prize for Inventing Soap against Malaria


Two African students of the Ouagadougou based International Institute for Water and Environment in Burkina Faso won the 1ST and People’s Choice prizes at the 2013 Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) held at the Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, University of California, USA.

The two students are the first non-American born citizens to ever win the GSVC which was in recognition of their invention of a malaria repellent soap that topped 18 global finalists from across the world.

Moctar Dembele from Burkina Faso and Gérard Niyondiko from Burundi jointly made the innovative breakthrough using a combination of karate citronella and other local herbs.

The Faso Soap, as the invention is called, offers an innovative African solution to the most dangerous African killer problem, malaria.

It takes into particular account the financial constraints of ordinary people and the cultural habits of local families. In the words of Dembele, “everyone uses soaps, even in the very poor communities”.