From Typhoid to Incredible Innovation: Meet 21-Year-Old Nigerian Ichor Joshua Who Bagged UN Swarovski Prize

From Typhoid to Incredible Innovation: Meet 21-Year-Old Nigerian Ichor Joshua Who Bagged UN Swarovski Prize

  • Ichor Joshua, a final-year student of the University of Jos, has emerged as the first and only African to bag the Swarovski Prize
  • Joshua, a native of Ikurav-tiev of Katsina-Ala LGA, Benue state, was given the prize for creating a technology that monitors contamination in groundwater wells in Africa
  • Interestingly, the 21-year-old student of geology revealed that he was inspired after falling sick with typhoid fever from drinking contaminated water

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Katsina-Ala LGA, Benue - Nigeria has been mentioned for good again in the international space because of the stunning genius of a University of Jos student, Ichor Joshua, whose innovation is making a niche for him already.

Joshua (21-year-old) has bagged the United Nations (UN)'s Swarovski Prize for his innovation that addresses water scarcity and contamination.

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Ichor Joshua
Ichor Joshua is the only African among six other innovators across the world to bag the prize (Photo: Ichor Joshua)
Source: UGC

In a special ceremony held at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Thursday, September 14, Joshua was awarded the prize alongside five other innovators from different continents.

His innovation uses Artificial Intelligence to monitor contamination and downtime in groundwater wells across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Over 260 innovators from 52 countries were considered for this prize, and the Swarovski foundation identified Joshua as one of six young creative leaders who are driving progress toward sustainable development.

The Nigerian undergraduate is the only African invited to the UN's headquarters where he was declared the winner of the Swarovski creatives prize.


In a conversation with, Joshua revealed that he was inspired to work on the project after being diagnosed with typhoid due to contaminated water consumption from a pump borehole in his village in Ikurav-tiev of Katsina-Ala LGA, Benue state

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His words:

"In 2012, I became ill with typhoid fever. The hand pump borehole which was the only source of water in my village broke down, and we only had dirty water from a stream to drink.
"This was the start. I made a decision to study geology and create innovations to solve the water scarcity problem in Sub-Saharan Africa."

How the technology works

Speaking on the operation of his innovation, he said:

"I invented a device called GeoTek monitor. It uses IoT technology to collect data on water wells.
"This data is analyzed through cloud platforms and Artificial intelligence models to detect contamination and possible breakdown in boreholes especially those in rural areas. Data collected by the system is useful for the management of groundwater aquifers."

Mentors, sponsors

The final-year level student disclosed that his technology was built with personal funds and support from lecturers from the University of Jos who are specialists in hydrogeology.

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Asked what were the hitches in creating the technology, Joshua opened up:

"I had challenges building my technology in terms of getting funds to purchase sensors and building machine learning models to meet international standards."

How I feel about bagging the Swarovski Prize

Best put in his words:

"The Swarovski prize means a lot to me because I was able to show that young Africans can engineer viable solutions to African problems. I felt very proud representing Nigeria and Africa at large.
"I was amazed when I was told that my technological solution was selected as one of the top six among 260 entries in the whole world.
"I believe my story will be a motivation to other African Innovators out there to keep chasing their dreams irrespective of where they come from."

Meet 19-year-old Abdullahi Tijani, an amazing Nigerian web developer creating great content on YouTube

Most times, great dreams and passions are actualised at a young age, even in the worst of circumstances and places.

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Such is the story of Abdullahi Oluwadamilare Tijani, a 19-year-old native of Odo-Otin in Osun state whose passion for YouTube content creation and web development pushes him into some tech adventures and achievements.


Abdullahi who spoke with recently revealed that he started creating content on Youtube in 2021 and already has a channel on the online streaming platform (Abdullahi Network).


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