ZAMBIA’S HOMEGROWN INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY
By Paul Ndiho
A Zambian youth is making strides in innovation and technology. Joseph Lungu is one of Zambia’s youngest innovators, having designed a sports car and security system for motor vehicles.
Joseph Lungu is no ordinary person, at 25 years old, he has earned several ingenuity awards. He has a passion for fast cars, but his ability to build his own car from scrap metal is remarkable. He recently unveiled his latest automobile at a trade show Lusaka.
Lungu has also designed a safety and security device using a cellphone to monitor overloading passenger service vehicles. He discovered his love for innovation when he was just 10 years old.
“I came up with a system that once the vehicle is overloaded, it automatically switches off. At the same time it will make a call to the owner of the vehicle. He will receive a text massage or a video call to alert him or her that car is being overloaded….
Joseph Lungu, comes from a very humble family. He was the winner of the 2017 Zambia innovation award. His innovations are generating a buzz even though they’re still at prototype level.
“I want to prove to Africa that even us, we have the brains that we can use to change the whole world.”
Joseph works at home, where he has turned his family home’s backyard into his workshop — he calls Joe Tech garage.
He uses his engineering skills to design all sorts of electronic products. From a personalized ATM machine, to a custom sports car, to his award-winning car security system.
“I came up with a domestic ATM machine, whereby you’re able to withdraw money using your personal mobile phone. The cool thing about this ATM you’re able to deposit and withdraw money using your mobile phone.”
His goal is to solve problems using scrap metal and information he finds on the internet.
“In Africa we have a lot of problems. I can come up with solutions in agriculture, in the transport business, energy … all it takes is to see where people have problems and you see a solution.”
Parked outside his family’s compound in the Lusaka suburbs is Joseph’s father’s car that he uses for demonstrations.
They configure your number in the vehicle’s system.
This is a point when you put more weight on the car, the car engine will stop and sound and arlm. You see it can’t start…. I have also received a call to show that my vehicle is being overloaded.
The vehicle sensors automatically stop car from moving. Joseph hopes to inspire other young people.
“If you have a dream, if you’re focused, and you have a plan, you can make it without money. Convert that Idea into reality. It only take you believing in yourself that you can do it then you’ll do it.”
Finding funding for his projects is difficult. Joseph says that he depends entirely on his family’s income. But despite the challenges, he remains optimistic.
“I made a touch four sensor which is able to detect the force of a human being. If someone parks the car and activates the system – The moment you want to steal, let’s say the tire, the moment your apply the force on the tire then this system is able to trigger the sensors and it will alert the owner on a mobile phone.”
With his innovation, experts say this could be a game changer, and for a kid whose dream is to dream big, he believes with the right support it can become a reality.