Brou Koffi is an inventor from Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) who is passionate about electronics since childhood, and has always tried to understand electronic mechanisms that run devices.
Born in 1983, he manufactures, at age 14, an FM transmitter to broadcast football matches played in his neighborhood. At 15, he developed a transmitter with a range of 100 m and in 2000, then aged 17, he manufactured a walkie talkie which enabled him to communicate with his friends. 2002 was a landmark year in the life of Brou Koffi. He is 19 and manufactures a 15 km range FM transmitter that was exhibited on Côte d'Ivoire's second TV Channel during a show dedicated to young inventors.
His passion or vocation for invention forces him to drop out of school in grade 9. However, he invents without having studied engineering. As he says, "it's a gift." Yet, he admits reading electronics books to understand the basic principles.
Like the majority of African inventors, this young Ivorian inventor lacks financial means to move forward. Also, to earn a living and continue to self-finance some of his inventions, Brou Koffi maintains and repairs electronic devices.
One of his recent inventions is a box that protects electronics appliances and stabilizers in the event of a serious disruption at the mains. This box is plugged into an outlet. Then one can connect other devices to it. Once connected, the box puts the voltage (220 v) on hold. This phase is indicated by a flashing red LED located on the box. After 30 seconds the red LED goes off and the box releases electricity to devices connected to it. This phase is marked by a green LED.
In short, in case of disturbances at the mains, the red LED flashes. Electricity is no longer supplied to devices plugged to the box. During this waiting phase, electricity is stabilized and the box finally releases electricity; which is indicated by the green LED. The name of the invention from his inventor is "Prise Electronique Protecteur" or Electronic Outlet Protector for which the French acronym is P.E.P.
It is true that Africa has training and support issues regarding inventors; however, it does not lack talents. It is lack of vision erected as a governmental policy at a continental scale that undermines the future of Africa which, nonetheless, wishes to develop and to industrialize.