17-year-old Carl Mwangi of Kagumo High School, Kiganjo, Kenya has been crowned winner of the second edition of the InterswitchSPAK National Science Competition; an initiative of Africa’s leading integrated payments and digital commerce company, Interswitch.
Following his win, Mwangi received the sum of Ksh 1.5 million in scholarships, spread over a period of 5 years, a brand-new laptop and the title as the best science student in Kenya.
Coming in second and third are 19-year-old Hamza Kamrudin of Friends School in the Nyeri County and 18-year-old Ignatius Suswa, of Nairobi School in the Nairobi County, receiving Ksh 750,000 and Ksh 150,000 in scholarships respectively, and brand-new laptops.
InterswitchSPAK is a CSR initiative of Interswitch, and it seeks to promote the uptake of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects among African students, as they have been identified by the technology-driven company as a driver of growth on the African continent.
The national science competition is open to students of secondary school age, giving them a platform to showcase their brilliance, while rewarding them and inspiring them to create change using STEM subjects.
Commenting on the importance of the InterswitchSPAK National Science Competition, the Group Managing Director (GMD)/ Founder of Interswitch Group, Mitchell Elegbe, said that there is a need to equip the younger generation of changemakers with the important tools to create the change desperately needed on the continent, and that this can be achieved by harnessing the power of STEM.
He said, "InterswitchSPAK was created with the view of providing young and passionate African changemakers with the resources needed to effect the change that is due the African continent. Through this initiative, we hope that many young Africans will seize this opportunity to bring to life that change that we envision.
"We at Interswitch are relentless in our drive to spark the desire to pick up STEM subjects and ensure that these students pursue a career in the STEM field."
The first edition of the InterswitchSPAK National Science Competition in Kenya was held in 2019, two years after it debuted on television screens in Nigeria, with plans to extend into other East African countries, in a bid to expand its reach and encourage the participation of more African secondary school students.