Many Africans innovations have been adopted, used in every part of the world and they have been a source of positive impact in many developed western countries like US, UK, Canada, China and loads of others.
While these innovations have made waves for Africans in the world, the founders or brain behind these laudable inventions have not been giving appropriate recognition, honour or much credit as they deserve which is not good enough for our history in technology especially as Africans. That is why at Tech Gist Africa, we focus on the untold stories of innovative ideas and solutions from Africa. We are positioned to promote innovative African Ideas, celebrate our own and show Africa’s importance to technology world. Behold, the Afro Tech Legend:
Dr. Philip Emeagwali – Invented the World’s Fastest Computer
Brainy and savvy Philip Emeagwali who has been nicknamed after the Microsoft co-founder and World second richest man, “Bill Gates of Africa,” was born in Nigeria in 1954. He dropped out of school at age 14 because his father could not continue paying his school fees. Every day, Emeagwali performed mental exercises like solving 100 math problems in one hour.
Genius Emeagwali studied hard and later received a scholarship to study at Oregon State University when he was 17 and obtained a BSc in mathematics. He also earned three other degrees – a Ph.D. in Scientific computing from the University of Michigan and two Masters degrees from George Washington University.
He saw an inherent efficiency in the way bees construct and work with honeycomb and determined computers that emulate this process could be the most efficient and powerful. In 1989, emulating the bees’ honeycomb construction, Emeagwali used 65,000 processors to invent the world’s fastest computer, which performs computations at 3.1 billion calculations per second.
Emeagwali have aroused some controversy over his claimed achievements. Phillip was voted the “35th-greatest African (and greatest African scientist) of all time” in a survey by New African magazine.
His records were quoted in a speech by Bill Clinton as an example of what Nigerians could achieve when given the opportunity. He is also a frequent feature of Black History Month articles in the news medium.
For an African to build the system for the world’s fastest computer; he showed and still serves as an inspiration for aspiring technology enthusiasts in Africa. This portrays how Africans have become a force that must be reckoned with and how Africans have been omnipresent over time in the tech space in the world. Today, we celebrate Philip Emeagwali!