I am in my senior year of studying electrical engineering in an african university. I intend to apply to grad schools(Ph.D) a year after graduation, possibly to the top EE programs in the US (MIT, Berkeley, Stanford...) Despite the fact that ground-breaking/stellar research is virtually impossible to come by for undergraduates in my country, I have sort of gathered some. I have an accepted poster presentation(based on independent research) at the major national conference in my field, and my present senior year thesis/project may yield three-five papers at IEEE conferences around Africa. I should also be able to get two publications(also independent research) in a continental journal which is popular only among African Engineers in my field and not much outside.
My degree is a five year bachelors programme interspersed with three internships/co-op experience. One was a summer spent in a local R&D electronics lab/company in which we completed several design projects although all were adaptations/imitation of existing projects to solve problems facing developing societies like ours. Another one was a long internship (~8mths) in the EE division of a world-renowned company with huge presence in my country during which I worked on a major design project which required a lot of technical knowledge and was evaluated. I have also done some remote/virtual research for a foreign, not well-known, research institute in my field and I have completed a technical report (no peer review) of my research(not particularly breath-taking) which they publish in their report series.
My gpa though not near-perfect is on a 'first-class' (we use the british system) and so I am a high-ranking student in my university. We do not use the four point system and as much as I would not like to compare apples with oranges, if I convert my cgpa to the 4.0 scale it is just over 3.6 although our scale is much larger and high-end grades are more difficult to attain than what is obtainable in the US system. I am also a recipient of several national awards/recognition for academic merit.
Given the aforesaid and also assuming that I ace the GRE (math especially since I'm in engineering), my questions are these:
How do you think I can improve my chances of being a good fit for top U.S. graduate schools noting the difficulty/impossibility in doing any ground-breaking research especially as an undergraduate here?