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ACTIVE SINCE: 2021

Africa Young Innovators for Health Award

The Africa Young Innovators for Health Award is the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA)’s and Speak Up Africa’s flagship program for young entrepreneurs in the healthcare sector.
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MEMBER COMPANIES:
Global NGOs 5
Other Business Sector 5
Private Foundation or Development Organization 2
Professional Services 1
Intergovernmental Organizations and Multilaterals 1
Objectives
  • Support young health entrepreneurs across Africa with the tools they need to advance promising healthcare solutions for the betterment of their communities
  • Develop on-the-ground capacity for health innovation in Africa
  • Advance women innovators and bridge the gender gap when it comes to access to funding, training and skills development, and overall participation in competitive environments
Africa has the youngest population and one of the highest entrepreneurship rates in the world, which adds up to a major opportunity to fuel innovation in healthcare. The Africa Young Innovators for Health Award is the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA)’s and Speak Up Africa’s response, an exciting flagship program for young entrepreneurs in the healthcare sector.

Launched in 2021, the first edition of the Award focused on solutions that supported, equipped, protected, and trained healthcare workers working tirelessly to protect and treat the public amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The second edition of the Award focused on innovations that advance Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Award winners receive funding and in-kind support, including business mentorship, expert advice on intellectual property (IP) rights, media training, and access to a global network of supporters in health, technology, and media. The Awards are also supported by an esteemed group of jury members who participate in the shortlisting and selection of the Awardees.

Advancing women innovators

Bridging the gender gap in science and innovation is a core part of the Awards program, especially drawing on lessons from the first edition of the Awards. Only one-fifth of applicants of the Africa Young Innovators for Health Award were women in the first edition.

Reacting to this, IFPMA and Speak Up Africa launched the Women Innovators Incubator program as part of the 2021 Award to address the significant imbalances between men and women in access to funding, training and skills development, professional networks, and overall participation in competitive environments. For the second edition of the Awards program, first and second-place prizes were awarded to two women and two men.

In tandem, Speak Up—together with its partners Amazon Web Services, Digital Health Network, Intrahealth, PATH Qhala, and UNICEF— launched the African Women in Digital Health movement (AWiDH) to strengthen the commitment and leadership of women in digital health in Africa. As part of Africa CDC Digital Transformation Strategy, this movement brings together stakeholders from various sectors, including digital, gender, and global health, to eliminate the gender-related digital divide and bolster women’s leadership and engagement in digital health.

Quote
"Winning the first prize of the Award further validates Pharmarun's mission of providing fast and easy access to medication. We are committed to ensuring medication access through fostering more collaborations among pharmacies to ensure universal health coverage beginning with medication and pharmaceutical care."
Teniola Adedeji
First Prize Winner of the Africa Young Innovators Award (2nd Edition)
“The journey may seem to have just begun, but the potential for digital transformative change in healthcare across the continent is palpable. As we move forward, let us be guided by the insights gained, the connections formed, and the opportunities that await us on this remarkable journey.”
Moses Ochora
First Prize Winner of the Africa Young Innovators Award (2nd Edition)
“As a female innovator, you find yourself learning alone along the way because the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) field is competitive and male-dominated. I look forward to learning from a network of experts available through the incubator.”
Angella Kyomugisha
Women Innovators Incubator Awardee
“…We are witnessing the burgeoning of entrepreneurs in this sector across the continent, especially young innovators whose growing talent is well established. Giving them opportunities to develop their ideas and expertise through initiatives such as this Award program is to be commended.”
Professor Awa Marie Coll-Seck
Minister of State of Senegal and Chair of the Scientific Committee for the Galien Forum Afrique
Results and milestones

Three winners were announced for the first edition of the Awards (2021-2022):

  • Conrad Tankou, CEO, GIC Space, based in Cameroon, for his company’s GICMED platform, which remotely screens and diagnoses women for breast and cervical cancers.
  • John Mwangi, CEO, based in Kenya, Daktari Media for Daktari Online, an online medical learning platform that offers continuing medical education to healthcare professionals
  • Imodoye Abioro, CEO, based in Nigeria, Healthbotic for his AI-powered electronic medical records system, which allows health workers to input and retrieve patient records with their voice, with or without internet access.

Additionally, three women were recipients of the Women Innovators Incubator Award in 2022:

  • Angella Kyomugisha, co-founder and CEO, Kaaro Health, for her telehealth-enabled container clinics that increase healthcare access in the most remove areas of Uganda.
  • Nuriat Nambogo, founder and CEO, MobiCare, a mobile-based platform that bridges the gap between patients and medical professionals in Uganda through appointment scheduling.
  • Marie Chantal Umunyana, founder, Umubyeyi, a digital health platform that delivers information directly from specialists to women on maternal and child health and parenting. She is based in Rwanda.

For the second edition of the Awards, two women and two men won first and second prizes:

  • Teniola Adediji, CEO, Pharmarun, for her groundbreaking on-demand platform in Nigeria that addresses fragmented medication access by bringing together a vast pharmacy network.
  • Moses Ochora, co-founder and CEO, Photo-Kabada Limited for his company’s phototherapy device that treats multiple babies in Uganda at once with remote monitoring.
  • Nura Izath, founder and CEO, Neosave Technologies for their device Autothermo, which combats neonatal mortality caused by hypothermia by helping healthcare workers in Uganda quickly identify and treat sick newborns.
  • Muhammad Abdullahi, founder, Queen Amina Medical Integration (Trash 4 Health Initiative), a social enterprise that transforms plastic waste into essential medications for diseases like diabetes and hypertension for underserved communities.
Media

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Geographic Reach
Disease Area
  • Women’s and Child Health
  • Non-communicable diseases
See Disease Areas
Target Population
  • Youth
  • Women
Partner organizations
Global NGOs

Amref Health Africa

IntraHealth

Speak Up Africa

Women in Global Health

Global Health Technologies Coalition

Other Business Sector

Africa.com

REMAPSEN

Scienceactu

Maddyness

Africa News Agency

Private Foundation or Development Organization

Forum Galien Afrique

Geneva Health Forum

Professional Services

Adams & Adams

Intergovernmental Organizations and Multilaterals

Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI)